Tags: Donald Trump | Hillary Clinton | Jeff Sessions | Russia Probe | Trump Administration | special counsel | fbi

Amid Hints of Special Counsel, Hillary Aides Push Trump Focus

Amid Hints of Special Counsel, Hillary Aides Push Trump Focus
Hillary Clinton (Patrick Semansky/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:12 PM

With Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinting he might appoint a second special counsel to look into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server for State Department business and into issues involving the Clinton Foundation, the Democratic presidential nominee's associates are trying to keep the focus on President Donald Trump.

Politico interviewed some of Clinton's former aides, who said the focus should remain on the current special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into Russian meddling in the election and whether Trump's campaign colluded in any way. They also said Democrats should point to how Trump has called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton.

"Democrats' response needs to be broader than defending Hillary Clinton on Uranium One," former Clinton campaign adviser Ron Klain told Politico. "It needs to convey that — if Trump makes good on this threat — any person out marching with their sign is at risk of having the Justice Department come and get them. That is a dangerous turn in American politics."

Clinton and her staff have said nothing publicly, and some said that is the right course.

"I don't think there's any sign that any of them have any criminal exposure," Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution said. "It doesn't strike me as an especially acute situation for them."

It is possible, many suggested, Sessions is simply trying to buy time and keep Trump happy without actually doing anything.

"It's hard to know whether that means they're really considering it or for Sessions to buy some room with the president," said Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department spokesman under President Barack Obama.

His advice to Camp Clinton? "Blow it off and hope that rational heads and the rule of law prevail. At some point, though, if you're Hillary Clinton, you won't be surprised if there's some investigation into you for something you're convinced you never did. It wouldn't be the first time."

"This is not the first time [Trump] has done this, it's at least the fifth, starting with saying he'd put her in jail," former aide to Clinton at the State Department Philippe Reines said. "If this is what he thinks he needs to keep his base happy, then everyone else – including Republicans in Congress – should see it for what it is: a president wearing jackboots."

But one former Clinton official, her campaign press secretary Brian Fallon, said she should act now.

"Dangling [a special counsel] is dangerous, period," he said. "So long as Sessions refuses to rule out opening a political inquiry into Hillary Clinton, howling is fair. If people do not howl now, maybe Sessions will think he can open one and get away with it by convincing people he will not actually charge her."

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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's associates are trying to keep the focus on President Donald Trump as Attorney General Jeff Sessions hints he might appoint a second special counsel to look into Clinton.
special counsel, fbi, robert mueller, investigation
Tuesday, 14 November 2017 08:12 PM
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