Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions added his voice to the call for a special prosecutor to investigate a “pay-to-play” policy by the foundation linked to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Sessions is echoing the call made by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who called for the Justice Department to launch an “expedited investigation” into the Clinton Foundation, after new allegations emerged that the group pushed for special access to then-Secretary of State Clinton.
“The fundamental thing is you cannot be Secretary of State of the United States of America and use that position to extort or seek contributions to your private foundation,” Sessions said in an interview with CNN. “That is a fundamental violation of law and that does appear to have happened.”
Trump, at a campaign rally Monday night in Akron, Ohio, said the Clintons “made the State Department into the same kind of ‘pay-to-play’ operation as the Arkansas government” — paying the Clinton Foundation “huge sums of money and throw in big speaking fees” to get “to play with the State Department.”
When asked to give examples of how Hillary Clinton extorted money, Sessions said that it was in the way individuals thought they could gain access to the State Department by way of payments to the foundation.
“Why are these people giving money to the foundation,” Sessions asked. “Why are these people in countries that are very poor giving millions of dollars — even hundreds of millions of dollars — to a foundation that doesn’t benefit them?
“They’re doing it to gain access,” he added. “And you cannot pay for access.”
Sessions said the evidence, which came to light in a new series of emails located on a private server used by Hillary Clinton during her time at the State Department, warrants further study and that FBI Director James Comey had not completed a full investigation.
“There is a cloud over this,” Sessions said, “just because he might conclude that there’s not a chargeable offense does not indicate there’s no wrongdoing.”
Fox News reports on newly emerged documents showing a senior executive at the Clinton Foundation left nearly 150 telephone messages over a two-year period to top Hillary Clinton aides at the State Department.