What is a special prosecutor; who appoints one; what do they do?

What is a special prosecutor; who appoints one; what do they do?

"I have now made a decision to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matter relating in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States", Sessions said in a press conference delivered shortly after reports of his conversations with Kislyak leaked out.

Except that recusal oddly does not appear to have been in effect when Sessions forwarded the letter from his deputy, Rosenstein, to the President and separately called for Comey to be fired.

Harris had previously called for Sessions' resignation following reports that he had met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak a year ago. Pressed on the matter during his Senate confirmation hearing in March, he said he'd wait to make a decision until he was fully up to speed on the investigation.

A Democrat senator renewed his call Wednesday for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign in the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The fact that Sessions is conducting the interviews also raises an ethical question regarding his pledge to recuse himself from investigations dealing with the Trump campaign. Therefore, I must recommend that you remove Director James B. Comey, Jr. and identify an experienced and qualified individual to lead the great men and women of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Her calls for Sessions to resign were seconded by her Democratic colleague Ron Wyden of Oregon.

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Comey announced publicly in March that the FBI was investigating potential collusion between Russian Federation and Trump associates.

But if you believe the dismissal was an effort to stifle the FBI's investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, as some lawmakers have alleged, "that reasoning is much harder to defend", she said. Comey testified that former Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin forwarded hundreds and thousands emails to the laptop of her husband, former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner. Sessions added that he would have preferred that Comey be allowed "to exit in a more gracious way". But it would be "completely inappropriate" for Sessions to be involved in any discussion related to the Russian Federation investigation, he said.

"This is a complete betrayal of his commitment to the public that he wouldn't be involved in the investigation", Franken said in a statement Wednesday.

At that point, a special prosecutor should have been appointed to relieve the political appointees of any input into the potential pursuit of criminal charges.

He has previously expressed opposition to turning over Justice Department investigations to special prosecutors. To the contrary, when Van Susteren said she "really appreciated [Comey's] transparency", since "the American people wanted to know.what his opinion was and how he arrived at it", Sessions replied, "It's not him that has the problem".

Why does the attorney general get to appoint a special counsel?

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