But on closer inspection, Monday's letter promises nothing more than that senior federal prosecutors within the Justice Department will "evaluate certain issues raised" by Republicans and "will make recommendations as to whether any matters not now under investigation should be opened, whether any matters now under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel".
In response to Jordan, Sessions said: "It would take a factual basis that meets the standards of the appointment of a special counsel".
It also comes a day after the Justice Department told the chair of the committee, Rep.
Rep. John Conyers Jr., Michigan Democrat, displayed copies of a series of recent tweets from Mr. Trump in which the president called for an investigation into Russia's 2010 purchase of uranium rights and donations to the Clinton Foundation while Mrs. Clinton led the State Department.
"I have not been improperly influenced and would not be improperly influenced" by the president, Sessions said. Is a special prosecutor needed to investigate Clinton's dealings?
"Dangling [a special counsel] is risky, period", he said. In a celebrated 1940 address that's still required reading for federal prosecutors today, Attorney General (and later Supreme Court Justice) Robert Jackson identified the Justice Department's ability to "choose [its] defendants" as "the most risky power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted".
The first one was the Waco [siege] - Sen.
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"There are significant concerns that the partisanship of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department [of Justice] has weakened the ability of each to act objectively".
"Why is the Special Counsel Robert Mueller?".
Listed among those issues was the sale of mining company Uranium One to Russian Federation and possible ties to The Clinton Foundation. A separate Clinton Foundation-related federal probe has been ongoing in Virginia, but its final disposition is still unclear, according to people familiar with the matter.
Sessions said questions about the dossier should be asked of Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
"Are you recused from investigations that involved Secretary Clinton?"
"I don't know what Sessions is going to do here, but I don't see any good reason for the Justice Department, in a situation where it's not the administration investigating itself, to appoint a special counsel", he said.
"You should never float the idea on your side, because when you float the idea, you are at least suggesting there's a possibility you may not be capable of doing the job yourself for ethical reasons", he explained.