Our friend Hugh Hewitt made news today with his interview of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Associated Press headlines: “AG SUGGESTS OPENNESS TO REVIEW OF PREDECESSORS’ ACTIONS.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested Thursday that he would be open to the appointment of an outside counsel to review actions taken by the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked Sessions in an interview if the new attorney general would consider designating an outside counsel “not connected to politics” to take a second look at Justice Department actions that provoked Republican ire in the last eight years. Those include the Fast and Furious gun scandal and the decisions against bringing criminal charges over Hillary Clinton’s email practices or the Internal Revenue Service’s treatment of conservative groups.
Hewitt contended during his radio interview that the department had become “highly politicized” in the Obama administration and floated the idea of a special review by an attorney with the authority to bring criminal charges and “just generally to look at how the Department of Justice operated.”
There is no doubt about the fact that Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, under political hacks Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, was more heavily politicized than any DOJ in our modern history. But does that translate into crimes that should be investigated by an independent prosecutor?
Sessions was noncommittal but left the door open, saying he would do everything he could to “restore the independence and professionalism of the Department of Justice.”
That is, undoubtedly, the Attorney General’s principal mission. The Department of Justice has been deeply compromised over the last eight years, and a thorough housecleaning, and restoration of professional standards, are in order.
The exchange reflected the lingering deep partisan anger over the Justice Department’s decision to close without charges the Clinton email investigation and a separate probe into how the IRS processed requests for tax-exempt applications.
Sessions said the outcome of the IRS case, in particular, remained “of real concern.”
That isn’t all, by any means. Then-Attorney General Eric Holder committed perjury in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. It is not too late for him to be criminally prosecuted.
My guess, however, is that Sessions has his hands full dealing with the Obama holdovers at DOJ and trying to reform the department. I doubt that he is seriously interested in revisiting the past, no matter how corrupt it may have been. But if a criminal prosecution is warranted, it should begin with Eric Holder’s false testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.