Sessions Rejects Republican Calls for a Second Special Counsel

Lucy Bush
April 2, 2018

His letter left open the possibility that, depending on what Huber's and the IG's reviews turned up, a second special counsel could be appointed.

The decision comes just one day after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced his office would review how the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a warrant to monitor Carter Page, a former foreign policy aide to President Donald Trump.

Huber was nominated by former President Barack Obama in 2015 and was reappointed by Trump a year ago.

Nonetheless, his decision not to appoint a special counsel, at least for now, is nearly certain to disappoint Republicans.

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Sessions referred the Republican complaints to the inspector general's office, a move that enraged Trump, who denounced it as "disgraceful" and said Sessions should have ordered his own investigation. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, chairman of the crime and terrorism subcommittee, both issued statements welcoming the inspector general's review, although Graham added, "I still believe we need a second special counsel to ensure the investigation is thorough and complete".

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

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has responded to Republican committee chairs who have been calling for investigations into potential FBI abuses.

"Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse". Why not use Justice Department lawyers?

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As is the custom, Mr. Huber submitted his resignation as US attorney last March to the incoming Trump administration. Sessions wrote that he was working from outside Washington and in cooperation with Horowitz. According to a report from CNN, Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) went so far as to say that Sessions was just "throwing meat out there to appease the president".

It is not unheard of for sitting USA attorneys to be asked to handle high-profile, Washington-centric investigations, although it has been done in different ways.

Goodlatte has called for a second special counsel to address topics that include: Clinton's handling of classified information in emails on her private server; the FBI's handling of the email investigation; leaks of nonpublic information, including those by former FBI director James Comey; connections between the Clinton Foundation and Russian Federation; and whether Clinton Foundation donations influenced the Obama administration's approval of the sale of a Canadian uranium company to Russia's nuclear agency.

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