Nov 14, 2017

Justice Dept. addresses possibility of probes involving Clinton in letter

Sessions. Photo; Darron Cummings / AP

Jeff Sessions' Justice Department has given the strongest hint yet that it may be turning a harsher spotlight on the sale of Uranium One and "alleged unlawful dealings related to the Clinton Foundation."

Sessions is even leaving the door open to appointing a Special Counsel to investigate these issues, according to a letter from Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, obtained by Axios and first reported by Fox News.

Key excerpts:

"This responds to your letters dated July 27, 2017, and September 26, 2017, in which you and other Members request the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate various matters, including the sale of Uranium One, alleged unlawful dealings related to the Clinton Foundation and other matters," Sessions writes.

"... the Attorney General has directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate certain issues raised in your letters. These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any of the matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel."

Per a senior administration official: "This Justice Department under this Attorney General is not going to play the James Comey game and confirm, or even deny, the existence of criminal investigations - but this letter makes it clear that Sessions is taking the Uranium One issue very seriously."

Context: President Trump, some congressional Republicans and Fox News personalities have been braying for Sessions to investigate the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One sale. While he makes clear that this letter should not be construed as confirmation of any investigation, it certainly reads as though Sessions is treading right up to that line.

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  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 273,880 — Total deaths: 7,077 — Total recoveries: 9,521Map.
  3. Public health latest: The CDC is recommending Americans wear face coverings in public to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
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  6. Oil latest: The amount of gas American drivers are consuming dropped to levels not seen in more than 25 years, government data shows. Trump is calling on the Energy Department to find more places to store oil.
  7. Tech updates: Twitter will allow ads containing references to the coronavirus under certain use cases.
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Government will cover uninsured patients' coronavirus treatment

Azar at Friday's briefing. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

The federal government will cover the costs of coronavirus treatment for the uninsured, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said at a White House briefing Friday.

How it works: The money will come from a $100 billion pot set aside for the health care industry in the most recent stimulus bill. Providers will be paid the same rates they get for treating Medicare patients, and as a condition of those payments, they won't be allowed to bill patients for care that isn't covered.

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Data: Axios reporting; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay-at-home order on Friday as the novel coronavirus pandemic persists. The order goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m. and will remain in place through April 30. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also issued a statewide social distancing order on Friday.

The big picture: In a matter of weeks, the number of states that issued orders nearly quadrupled, affecting almost 300 million Americans.

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