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Jeff Sessions: No new special counsel yet for Republican concerns

Jeff Sessions: No new special counsel yet for Republican concerns

Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejected calls from Republican lawmakers for a second special counsel to look into potential misconduct by the Justice Department and the FBI in past investigations of Hillary Clinton, saying that the issues were already under scrutiny.

Republicans have been fuming about they see as bias within the FBI, while Democrats say the surveillance abuse allegations are created to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's sprawling investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not now under investigation require further resources, or whether any merit the appointment of a Special Counsel".

Horowitz announced on Wednesday that he is launching a review to examine whether the department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation violated legal requirements or procedures when applying for court approval for surveillance orders on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page.

"We do not believe the Department of Justice is capable of investigating and evaluating these fact patterns in a fashion likely to garner public confidence", House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) and House Oversight Committee Chair Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) wrote, adding that "the public interest requires the appointment of a special counsel".

The appointment of the Huber was done instead of assigning a Special Prosecutor to the investigation.




While Republicans welcomed the inspector general's review, Sen.

Huber is Utah's lead federal prosecutor and although he was first appointed by a Democratic president, Barack Obama, he's raised his profile significantly under the Trump administration.

President Trump had demanded last month that Mr. Sessions turn to Justice Department lawyers, not the inspector general, to investigate accusations of surveillance abuse. I have appointed a person outside of Washington, many years in the Department of Justice to look at all the allegations that the House Judiciary Committee members sent to us; and we're conducting that investigation.

Sessions further defended his decision to keep the matters formally under the jurisdiction of the Inspector General's Office (OIG), explaining that, unlike a special counsel, OIG publicizes misdeeds and damning communications that do not necessarily rise to the criminal level. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at least, said it did not preclude the need for a special counsel to "ensure the investigation is thorough and complete".

Their requests come as President Trump and his allies have engaged in an anti-FBI campaign in apparent effort to undermine Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into his campaign's Russian Federation ties.

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