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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.

Go deeper

Former Vice President Walter Mondale dies at 93

Walter Mondale, left, with former President Jimmy Carter in Jan. 2018 at the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota's campus in Minneapolis. Photo: Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Walter Mondale, who transformed the role of U.S. vice president while serving under Jimmy Carter and was the Democratic nominee for president in 1984, died Monday at 93, according to a family spokesperson.

The big picture: President Biden, who was mentored by Mondale through the years, said in 2015 that the former vice president gave him a "roadmap" to successfully take on the job.

White House removes Trump-appointed scientist from overseeing climate report

U.S. President Joe Biden. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has removed Trump-appointed atmospheric scientist Betsy Weatherhead from her role overseeing a comprehensive report on how climate change is affecting the U.S., the Washington Post first reported Monday.

Why it matters: Weatherhead has not been fired — merely reassigned to the U.S. Geological Survey — the move represents an effort by the Biden administration to remove Trump-era appointees from scientific roles, per CNN.

20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Congress, White House brace for Chauvin verdict

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Lawmakers on Capitol Hill are anxious as the nation awaits the verdict in former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial, fearing a not-guilty decision could exacerbate racial tensions and spark a new wave of riots.

Why it matters: Leaders on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue are trying to figure out how to calibrate any personal or legislative response, while also acknowledging how the final outcome in Chauvin's murder trial in the death of George Floyd could affect their district and them politically.