Tags: Russia | dianne feinstein | special prosecutor | russia | recusal | jeff sessions

Feinstein: Special Prosecutor Needed on Russia Despite Recusal

Image: Feinstein: Special Prosecutor Needed on Russia Despite Recusal

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By    |   Thursday, 02 Mar 2017 06:19 PM

Sen. Dianne Feinstein Thursday called for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia hacking during presidential election — despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from any such inquiries — because "they have to proceed in a way that no fault can be thrown at them."

"It seems to me that a very prudent step at this time would be the appointment of a special prosecutor," the California Democrat told Wolf Blitzer on CNN. "Somebody who is without blemish, someone who has inordinate skill and who can put together the kind of robust investigation that needs to be done."

Feinstein said that the prosecutor should be "somebody who is independent from everyone that's there now" in the Justice Department, including Sessions.

"What the Russians have done is unparalleled in its breadth and depth," she added. "The investigation has to go on, untarnished and unblemished — and it cannot be conflicted.

"This recusal enables some of that to happen."

Sessions stepped back Thursday from "any present or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaign of the president of the United States."

He added that his announcement "should not be interpreted as confirmation of the existence of any investigation."

The former Alabama senator also doubled down on whether he misled Congress when he did not disclose two meetings last year with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in January.

"The idea that I was part of a 'continuing exchange of information during the campaign between the Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government' is totally false," Sessions said.

He did, however, allow that he should have been more careful in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"I should have slowed down and said, 'But I did meet one Russian official a couple of times,'" he told reporters at a news conference at the Justice Department.

Feinstein is the ranking Democrat on the committee. She told Blitzer that Sessions "did not tell the truth" to the panel at his Jan. 20 hearing.

"Attorney General Sessions has had every opportunity change the record," she said. "To file an amendment to say: 'I misspoke. Here's what the facts are,' but he did not do that.

"The fact of the matter is that he did not tell the truth under oath before the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate — and you just don't do that."

However, Feinstein refused to say whether Sessions committed perjury in not disclosing the meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

"Perjury is another specific thing with regards to intent," she told Blitzer. "I can't comment on whether he perjured himself, and I'm not going to do that right now.

"I am going to say that I do not believe that this was the truth," she continued. "He has recused himself.

"Now, there's an opportunity to move on."

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Sen. Dianne Feinstein Thursday called for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia hacking during presidential election — despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from any such inquiries — because "they have to proceed in a way that no fault can be thrown at them."
dianne feinstein, special prosecutor, russia, recusal, jeff sessions
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2017-19-02
Thursday, 02 Mar 2017 06:19 PM
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