The Select Committee on Benghazi has closed up shop. The FBI has found no new emails to change its conclusion that there was not a winnable case against Hillary Clinton over her use of a private server. Clinton herself, having become the fourth American to win the popular vote but lose the presidency, is reportedly done with public life for good.
But on Monday and Tuesday, Republicans who spent the past few years investigating Clinton’s tenure at the State Department hinted that there was more to come. In a conversation with reporters, including The Washington Post’s Joe Davidson, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he was still going “full throttle” for documents related to Clinton’s tenure. The private server, he said, represented “the largest breach of security in the history of the State Department.”
On Tuesday,, in the first round of questions for attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions, Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) read back President-elect Donald Trump’s quotes from the 2016 campaign, promising to pursue an investigation of Clinton if he won. Asked how he would move on such an investigation, Sessions said he would recuse himself.
“It was a highly contentious campaign,” Sessions said. “Some of the comments I made, I do believe, could place my objectivity in question. I’ve given that thought. I believe the proper thing for me to do would be to recuse myself from any questions involving those kind of investigations that involve Secretary Clinton that were raised during the campaign.”
“You intend to recuse yourself from both the Clinton email investigation and any matters involving the Clinton Foundation, if there are any?” Grassley asked.
After Sessions said he would, Grassley asked him to contrast his approach to how current Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch handled the nearly concluded FBI investigation last year, recusing herself after agreeing to an ill-fated conversation with Bill Clinton.
“She did not officially recuse,” Sessions said. “There is a procedure for that, which I would follow. I believe that would be the best approach for the country, because we can never have a political dispute turn into a criminal dispute. That’s not in any way — that would not suggest anything other than absolute objectivity. This country does not punish its political enemies, but this country ensures that no one is above the law.”
There is no ongoing investigation into the Clintons; election-time tips from some FBI offices, claiming that a case against the Clinton Foundation was imminent, ceased when the voting was over. But Tom Fitton, the president of the conservative legal watchdog Judicial Watch, suggested that more might be on the horizon.
“There have been various public reports of ongoing federal investigations into the Clinton Foundation,” wrote Fitton in an email. “DOJ/FBI also has request to review her testimony to Congress. The recent appellate ruling on a Judicial Watch Clinton email issue also may result in yet another referral to AG’s office (in fact, it was THE issue in the case). (FWIW, I think the national security issue needs to revived and will be in light of the Russian hacking issue.)”