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  • ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed on Monday that he has authorized senior prosecutors at the Justice Department to evaluate whether allegations regarding the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One need to be investigated by a special counsel.Sessions’ apparent interest in reexamining Hillary Clinton comes 10 days after President Trump told reporters that the Justice Department “should be looking at the Democrats” and that “a lot of people are disappointed in the Justice Department, including me.”Those prosecutors would be tasked with looking into Clinton's role in approving the 2010 acquisition of U.S. uranium stockpiles by a Russian energy company —- a complicated deal that has come to be known simply as Uranium One. Uranium One was the name of the Canadian company with large uranium stakes in North America and overseas —- including some in the U.S. —- that was purchased by the Russian energy giant, Rosatom.In his January confirmation hearings, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would recuse himself from investigations that involve Hillary Clinton, admitting that “with regard to Secretary Clinton and some of the comments I made, I do believe that that could place my objectivity in question.”But in a letter on Monday to Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote that Justice Department prosecutors would “evaluate certain issues” relating to Hillary Clinton and make recommendations to Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether matters merit the appointment of a special counsel.”Some legal experts told ABC News that this letter raises ethical concerns.“Certainly Sessions’ involvement with the Trump presidential campaign, which already branded Secretary Clinton a criminal, would raise a question of his impartiality in these circumstances,” said Trevor Potter, president of the Campaign Legal Center and a former Republican chair of the Federal Election Commission. “Other, less political, officials at the Department of Justice should be making decisions about any Clinton investigations,” Potter said.“The whole situation is unusual,” said a former Department of Justice official, who explained that “historically, DOJ has had a strong record of independence,” which could erode if there is an “appearance that DOJ is acting based on political pressure rather than on an independent assessment of the facts and the law.”“You have to go back to Nixon to find a similar situation of a president involving himself in prosecutions of political enemies,” concluded another former government official.But other legal experts told ABC News that Sessions does not appear to have crossed any legal or ethical lines at this point.Kathleen Clark, a legal ethics professor at Washington University School of Law, said that in Monday’s letter, Sessions “may be attempting to thread a difficult needle” by “mollifying certain House Republicans who want the resources of the Department of Justice trained on Clinton Inc.” while at the same time remaining vague about which Clinton issues might be examined and what Sessions’ role would be. Sessions was “quite artful in addressing what is a politically fraught situation,” Clark added.“The investigation into contributions to the Clinton Foundation is not campaign-related,” according to Harold Krent, dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology. “Thus, Sessions' possible appointment of a special counsel would not run afoul of his prior recusal declaration,” Krent told ABC News.“I
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  • ABCNews.com(WASHINGTON) -- The idea that President Donald Trump may call for an investigation into Hillary Clinton is not a new one, as he stated it repeatedly during the campaign.The fact that Trump has started bringing it back up recently is a bit of an about-face, however, because he said shortly after the election that he wasn’t interested in “hurting” the Clintons.Here’s a rundown of some of the times –- both before and after the election –- that Trump has called for either Hillary Clinton, the Democrats, or her ties to the Democratic National Committee to be investigated.1. At a campaign speech in Ohio on Aug. 22, 2016At an Akron campaign rally, Trump focused in on the Clinton Foundation, which was closely tied to his then-rival and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and called for it to be investigated.“The amounts involved, the favors done and the significant number of times it was done require an expedited investigation by a special prosecutor immediately, immediately, immediately,” Trump said.“After the FBI and Department of Justice whitewashed Hillary Clinton's e-mail crimes, they certainly cannot be trusted to quickly or impartially investigate Hillary Clinton's new crimes which happen all the time. Some former prosecutors have even suggested that the coordination between the pay-for-play State Department and the corrupt Clinton Foundation constitute a clear example of RICO, [a] racketeering-influenced, corrupt organization, enterprise. The Justice Department is required to appoint an independent special prosecutor because it has proven itself to be really, sadly, a political arm of the White House.”2. The second presidential debate on Oct. 10, 2016While it wasn’t the first time Trump suggested there should be an investigation into Hillary Clinton, this time was particularly jarring because he said it directly to her face.“If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor,” Trump told Clinton while both were on stage in St. Louis.“We’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” he said to Clinton.3. At a campaign event in Florida on Oct. 11, 2016The day after the St. Louis debate, Trump honed in on that same talking point, focusing on the FBI's investigation at the time into her emails and server usage while she was secretary of state."We have to investigate Hillary Clinton and we have to investigate the investigation. This was a disgrace. This was a disgrace. Hillary bleached and deleted 33,000 e-mails after congressional subpoenas. Can you imagine that?” he said. “They got a subpoena from the United States Congress and then they deleted everything. If you did that in private life, you go to jail. And then destroyed her phones, some with a hammer, boom. Anybody destroy your phones before with a hammer, anybody? No? Anybody? No? And people have gone to jail for doing far less.”Turning Point: Trump changes his mind in an interview on Nov. 22, 2016During an interview with The New York Times two weeks after winning the election, Trump was asked if he still planned to prosecute Clinton as he had said during the campaign."Look, I want to move forward, I don’t want to move back. And I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t. She went through a lot. And suffered greatly in many different ways. And I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious. They say it was the most vicious primary and the most vicious campaign. I gu
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  • Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Three Republican senators who initially backed Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore have rescinded their endorsements in response to allegations of sexual misconduct.Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Steven Daines of Montana, and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana have withdrawn their support. GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona, meanwhile, has said Moore should "immediately step aside" from the election on Dec. 12, and Bob Corker of Tennessee tweeted Saturday that he had never supported the controversial former judge.But at least some supporters of Moore in Alabama are standing by him, saying they don't believe the allegations.“I think most conservative Christians are going to vote for him because they believe in him,” Nancy Fluker of Wilsonville, Alabama, about 32 miles southeast of Birmingham, told ABC affiliate WBMA-TV in Birmingham. “They believe in his reputation. They believe in his record."Moore, who is running to fill the Alabama Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions when he became attorney general, faces allegations first reported by the Washington Post that he engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old when he was 32 and pursued other girls when they were between the ages of 16 and 18 and he was in his 30s.Some political observers in Alabama said they think fallout from the allegations against Moore may depress turnout at the polls and that many Republicans may choose to write in another name rather than vote for the former judge."I imagine there are going to be certain people who will not want to vote for the Democrat, but who will not want to vote for [Moore] and I imagine that there will be a write-in," said former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Gorman Houston who ran as a Republican but now considers himself an independent. "A lot of people will write in" candidates, he said.But in Shelby County, Alabama, on the outskirts of Birmingham, many who spoke to WBMA-TV said they are sticking by Moore.Nancy Fluker and her husband, Gordon, said they believe Moore's denial of having had a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old when he was 32.“I believe him that he didn't do it,” Gordon Fluker said. “I think it's something someone waited until an opportune moment to put on the news across the world, to downgrade him.”Similarly, Susan Conn, who owns Main Street Florist in downtown Columbiana, Alabama, told WBMA-TV, she is suspicious of the timing of the allegations.“I just don't see how he could be guilty now and not be guilty in all these other elections” in which he ran, Conn said.Conn said she voted for Moore's Republican rival in the primary runoff, Luther Strange, but will now vote for Moore in the general election.“Him being a Christian, I would hate to know he's guilty of anything like that,” said Conn. “He really does seem like he does what he thinks he's supposed to do. I just don't believe he's guilty.”Houston, the former Alabama Supreme Court justice, said Moore has a group of loyal supporters who are unlikely to abandon him.Houston served on the state's high court during a battle over Moore's monument to the Ten Commandments that he placed in the state judicial building in Montgomery.Moore was elected chief justice of the state Supreme Court in 1999 but was removed in 2003 by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary for “willfully and publicly” defying a federal court's orders to remove the monument.
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  • Scott Olson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore continued to deny allegations of sexual misconduct Friday, saying on conservative talk radio that the accusations against him were politically motivated."It seems that in the political arena, to say that something is not true is simply not good enough. So let me be clear. I have never provided alcohol to minors, and I have never engaged in sexual misconduct," Moore said in a statement to ABC News on Friday.The Washington Post reported Thursday that the Republican former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court allegedly engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old girl in the 1970s. At the time, he was 32.He also allegedly dated other teenage women when he was single and in his mid-30s, according to the article.During a radio interview with Sean Hannity's radio program on Friday afternoon, Moore said the accusations are "false and misleading" and "hurt [him] personally."Moore denied ever knowing the woman who said she was 14-years-old at the time.He acknowledged that he knew the other women named in the story when they were teens. He argued, however, that his relationship with the women was never inappropriate.The age of consent in Alabama is 16 years old, as it was in 1979.Moore said their parents would have been aware of the relationships."I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her parents," he told Hannity.When pressed, Moore went on to say that that it would have been "inappropriate" to date teenage girls given his age at the time.In both the radio interview and the statement released on Friday, Moore questioned the timing of the Washington Post's story given that voters go to the polls to elect their new U.S. Senator in just over a month."I have run five campaigns, it has never been brought up," he said.Moore repeatedly said that the story was "politically-motivated”. The central accuser in the Washington Post story said she was a Republican.Moore told Hannity that he thought political foes were working against him, "because they don’t want to hear truth in Washington. Truth about God and the truth about the constitution."Since the allegations were made public, a number of Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., have voiced concerns and said that Moore should withdraw from the Alabama special election if it is true.In a filing Friday, the NRSC appeared to drop out of a joint fundraising agreement with Moore. The agreement was made between Moore's campaign, the Alabama Republican Party, the Republican National Committee, and the NRSC in late October.According to Friday's filing, the three other parties are all still a part of the pact, named the "Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee," but the NRSC has been removed.The NRSC has not responded to ABC News’ requests for comment and clarification.
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  • Hal Yeager/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Republican senatorial candidate in Alabama is now in hot water over allegations of decades-old sexual misconduct, but this is not the first controversy Roy Moore has faced.In a statement Friday, Moore, 70, denied the allegations outlined in a Washington Post story Thursday, stating: "I have never engaged in sexual misconduct."Moore, 70, has a long history of making outrageous statements.Here is a review of five hot-button topics the former state judge has weighed in on.On raceMoore caused controversy after he appeared to refer to Native Americans and Asians as “reds” and “yellows” in a campaign speech, later tweeting similar language.In his speech, Moore referenced the U.S. Civil War while lamenting the current divisions within the country.“We were torn apart in the Civil War — brother against brother, North against South, party against party. What changed?” Moore said. “Now we have blacks and whites fighting, reds and yellows fighting, Democrats and Republicans fighting, men and women fighting.""What’s going to unite us? What’s going to bring us back together? A president? A Congress?" Roy asked, and then answered, "No. It’s going to be God.”The following day, he tweeted similar sentiments, writing in two tweets: "Red, yellow, black and white they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world. This is the Gospel. If we take it seriously, America can once again be united as one nation under God."Some suggested Moore’s tweets indicate he was quoting the children’s Bible song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” by C. Herbert Woolston and George F. Root. Lyrics to that song include the verses: “Jesus loves the little children/all the children of the world/red, brown, yellow, black and white/they are precious in his sight.”On his fellow RepublicansApparently, Moore wasn't looking for friends in the Republican establishment during his primary campaign.Moore has released advertisements highly critical of Republicans in Washington including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis."Send them all a message," one ad says, calling out the Senate majority leader's "D.C. slime machine."On Sharia lawDuring an interview with Vox in September, Moore was asked if he believes Sharia law is a danger to America."There are communities under Sharia law right now in our country. Up in Illinois. Christian communities; I don’t know if they may be Muslim communities," Moore told Vox.When asked by Vox which communities he was specifically referring to, he did not provide more details."Well, there’s Sharia law, as I understand it, in Illinois, Indiana — up there. I don't know," Moore said.Further pressed, Moore said: "Well, let me just put it this way — if they are, they are; if they’re not, they’re not. That doesn’t matter. Oklahoma tried passing a law restricting Sharia law, and it failed. Do you know about that?"On the Sept. 11 terrorist attacksMoore allegedly made comments about the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks during a February campaign stop, according to a video reviewed by CNN."'Because you have despised His word and trust in perverseness and oppression, and say thereon ... therefore this iniquity will be to you as a breach ready to fall, swell out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instance,'" Moore said, quoting a passage in the Old Testament's Book of Isaiah, according to CNN. He then added: "Sounds a little bit like the Pentagon, whose breaking came suddenly, at an instance, doesn't it?"Later in the video, CNN reports that Moore suggested that God was mad at the United States because "we legitimize sodomy" and "legitimize abortion."On gay rightsMoore has been outspoken in his opposition to homosexuality for man
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