House Republicans introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the appointment a second special counsel to look into alleged abuses at the FBI and Justice Department regarding multiple issues, including their handling of the Clinton email scandal and the reported spying on the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
The resolution is is backed by the chair of the House Freedom Caucus Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., as well as the group’s co-founders Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., and Arizona GOP Congressman Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar among other members.
Happening now—Every week we learn more about the FBI/DOJ’s questionable actions during the 2016 election. The DOJ cannot investigate itself. That’s why we’re calling for a second special counsel. It’s time. pic.twitter.com/rjtwW3hpej
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) May 22, 2018
DeSantis told Fox News on Tuesday, “We also need to get people to be held accountable for any FISA abuse that occured and then how did this investigation into the Trump campaign start and was it on the up and up from the very beginning.”
“There are always a lot of questions about that and I don’t believe the Justice Department is going to be able to investigate themselves,” he added. “They’ve resisted our inquiries in Congress for long enough, so it’s time that we did have a special counsel.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 22, 2018
The 12-page resolution offers a detailed account of the many areas the members would call on the special counsel to investigate.
The subjects range from the “premature” closing of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized, unsecured private email server to her destruction of materials subject to grand jury and congressional subpoenas to former FBI Director James Comey’s letter exonerating Clinton drafted before interviewing numerous key witnesses (including Clinton) to donations received by the Clinton Foundation in light of the Uranium One deal.
The resolution also calls for inquiry into the use of the Micheal Steele compiled Trump dossier in FISA applications in order to obtain warrants to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, the reported infiltration of an FBI informant into the Trump campaign, and the actions of FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI agent Peter Strzok at the bureau in light of their “egregious evidence of bias” against Trump.
The resolution further highlights the difficulty Congress has been experiencing in obtaining timely compliance from the DOJ regarding documents requests to assist in its own investigations. Additionally, when materials are finally turned over they represent “some but not all of the documents demanded” often in “heavily redacted” form.
The members argue that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has limited authority to look into these matters, including only being able to interview current federal employees, which would exclude people such as Clinton, Comey, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former acting Attorney General Sally Yates, and Page among others.
Taking note of the IG’s limitations, House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March calling for a special counsel.
“When I counted up 24 witnesses that he would not be able to access were he to investigate it, yeah only one conclusion, that’s special counsel,” Gowdy told Fox News at the time. Horowitz has no access to “anyone who no longer works for the Department of Justice, FBI, State Department,” Gowdy explained.
In a Sunday tweet, Trump demanded an investigation into potential wrongdoing by the Obama administration in relation to his presidential campaign.
“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
On Monday, the White House and the DOJ reached an agreement, whereby the department’s inspector general will look into the matter, The Hill reported.
According to a statement released by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, the DOJ inspector general will “expand its current investigation to include any irregularities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s or the Department of Justice’s tactics concerning the Trump Campaign.”
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