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Mr. Trump is frustrated with the continuing investigations into Russia’s election meddling and possible ties to his campaign. Last month the special counsel announced the first charges against Trump campaign aides.
The president has said the Justice Department should instead be investigating Mrs. Clinton’s involvement in the Uranium One deal and donations to her family’s charitable foundation.
“Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!” Mr. Trump wrote in a Twitter post on Oct. 19.
His request has triggered a political backlash and breaks with longstanding norms established after Watergate.
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Why are we revisiting the deal now, seven years later?
On Monday, the Justice Department told Congress that it was looking into whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate Mrs. Clinton and the Uranium One deal. Earlier this year, the department appointed a special counsel, the former F.B.I. director Robert S. Mueller III, to take over the government’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the possible involvement of Trump campaign aides.
Some Republicans have also called for investigations into the Uranium One deal, including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia — both chairmen of congressional committees that oversee the Justice Department. The Justice Department’s letter on Monday was in response to Mr. Goodlatte’s requests.
Mr. Goodlatte’s committee and the House oversight committee are already conducting their own investigations into the Uranium One decision.
On Oct. 24, Mr. Grassley wrote in a Twitter post, “Whoever in DOJ is capable w authority to appoint a special counsel shld do so to investigate Uranium One ‘whoever’ means if u aren’t recused.”
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In October, an article in The Hill reported that the F.B.I. had been looking into evidence around the time of the Uranium One deal that Russians were offering bribes to expand their energy interests in the United States. Mr. Mueller was the F.B.I. director at the time.
“I think the uranium sale to Russia and the way it was done — so underhanded, with tremendous amounts of money being passed — I actually think that’s Watergate, modern age,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Oct. 25.
Is there anything to this?
There has been no evidence that donations to the Clinton Foundation influenced the Uranium One deal.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign spokesman, Brian Fallon, has said suggestions they did were “baseless.”
In 2015 the F.B.I., at several of its field offices, opened preliminary investigations into the Clinton Foundation. Agents wanted to pursue a wider investigation and conduct interviews and obtain subpoenas. The F.B.I. eventually consolidated the cases at its headquarters. Former officials said that career public corruption prosecutors in Washington concluded there was not enough evidence to move forward with a case.