Conservatives and Republicans cringed Thursday when Attorney General Jeff Session wrote to the House Judiciary Committee that he had decided not to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the FBI’s handling of the Uranium One and Hillary Clinton e-mail scandals.
But they may appreciate the final outcome of Sessions’ deliberations.
The same day that Sessions wrote about his decision, he announced the appointment of Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber to advise him on the handling of the Clinton cases.
As Huber begins his investigation, the shadow of the Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz looms over DOJ.
With the report of his investigation due out soon — an expected bombshell — the calls for a special prosecutor are sure to mount.
Sessions may find it hard to stick by his refusal to appoint one.
Indeed, his selection of Huber, a straight conservative, may well be a step to lay the basis for such an appointment.
Why won’t Trump fire Sessions? Because the Senate Republicans could likely not find the votes to confirm any successor Trump might appoint.
With Arizona Sen. John McCain still absent, they would need unanimous support from the party’s senators to be able to do so.
Sessions, a former senator, is so popular among his former colleagues that if he is perceived to have been fired against his will, they are likely to withhold their votes from his replacement.
But if Huber and Horowitz both agree that the FBI and the DOJ shortchanged their investigations of the uranium and e-mail scandals, its hard to see how the attorney general can remain obdurate.
Trump is letting events pile up and force Sessions’ hand.
The facts indicate that the DOJ and FBI did not cover themselves with glory in either investigation.
As the facts of the cover-ups by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former Director James Comey keep coming to light, Sessions will have to act or face making a mockery of the department’s supposed independence.
So stay tuned, a special prosecutor is probably still on the horizon.
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