Jeff Sessions Gives Yet Another Evasive Answer on Recusing Himself - This Time, About the Uranium One Deal
Attorney General Jeff Sessions continued his tactic of evasion on Thursday during an interview with Hugh Hewitt.
The conversation on the conservative host's radio show, which covered religious freedom, the controversy over the same-sex wedding cake decision and freedom of speech, took a quick tangent in the middle to talk about what Hewitt worded as “the Russia stuff.”
Sessions was yet again unable to provide a clear answer about the issues being handed to the Department of Justice.
Below are the three questions from the transcript:
HH: A couple of other issues I want to run through with you, Mr. Attorney General. I know you’re recused from most of the Russia stuff. But are you recused from the investigation into the Steele dossier and GPS Fusion?
JS: Well, I have not made a formal announcement on what kind of recusal I might have there. But I could well be, and so…
HH: How about the Uranium One case. Are you recused from that?
JS: Well, the, you know, of course there was one case that’s already been prosecuted, and people have been sentenced on, but as to what may happen after that, if anything, I’m not able to comment.
HH: And are you recused from any investigations into the Clinton Foundation?
The offhand reference to the Uranium One case deserves our attention.
Sessions was also asked a question specific to Uranium One during the five-hour long Senate Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearing on October 18. Senator Chuck Grassley asked Sessions about the Russian uranium case, to which Sessions evasively replied: “Without confirming or denying the existence of any particular investigation, I would say I hear your concerns and they will be reviewed.”
Less than a week later, Sen. Grassley tweeted his wish for a special counsel to investigate Uranium One:
Whoever in DOJ is capable w authority to appoint a special counsel shld do so to investigate Uranium One "whoever" means if u aren't recused— ChuckGrassley (@ChuckGrassley) 1508895237.0
The Uranium One case has been in the news since the Hill published a report on October 17. The Hill report goes into new details on the “controversial deal in 2010” under the Obama administration that granted “Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium.”
As ThinkProgress notes, this story was largely covered in 2015 by the New York Times; however, the new report at the Hill looks at FBI evidence "that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States.”
ThinkProgress explains that because Hillary Clinton was secretary of state during the Uranium One deal, it “is supposedly entwined with Clinton… More specifically her critics allege that the Clinton Foundation is at the root of the controversy, so any investigations into the Uranium One deal would, undoubtedly, be interlinked with investigations into Clinton’s charity.” ThinkProgress continues, “The Uranium One controversy and most of the theories about Clinton’s part in the matter have been largely debunked, save for a few details.”
Sessions previously recused himself from the Russia investigation. With Uranium One back in the news and a "Republican-led probe" just announced, whether Sessions will provide any information remains to be seen.