Following an ongoing special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between Russian and the Trump campaign, conservative Republicans are calling for a second counsel to investigate allegations of bias and corruption in the Department of Justice and the FBI, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
In March, Jeff Sessions rejected lawmakers’ request for a special counsel, instead appointing John Huber, a federal prosecutor in Utah, to look into the allegations.
“To justify such an appointment, the Attorney General would need to conclude that ‘the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for the matter from the Department of Justice,” Sessions wrote in a letter to GOP committee chairmen Chuck Grassley, Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte and South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy.
Republican leaders like New York Rep. Lee Zeldin argued Huber’s appointment didn’t go far enough.
Now, Zeldin along with Freedom Caucus chairman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, are again urging Sessions to appoint a second special counsel.
Additionally, “Zeldin and others in Congress remain concerned the ongoing probe into Trump is being mishandled and has become a witch-hunt to indict the current president and his allies at all costs,” The Washington Free Beacon reported.
On Monday, Zeldin announced that he would appear on the House floor to lay out his case for the second special counsel.
“Tonight, sometime in 7PM hour, I’ll be leading a Special Order on House Floor, joined by other Members, detailing case for a 2nd Special Counsel to be appointed re FISA Abuse, how/why Clinton probe ended & Trump-Russia probe began. Watch here: http://houselive.gov,” Zeldin tweeted Monday.
Tonight, sometime in 7PM hour, I'll be leading a Special Order on House Floor, joined by other Members, detailing case for a 2nd Special Counsel to be appointed re FISA Abuse, how/why Clinton probe ended & Trump-Russia probe began. Watch here: https://t.co/1SwJmASNxm
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) April 16, 2018
Zeldin and other conservative lawmakers argued a new counsel is necessary to investigate concerns over the FBI’s handling of the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as well as why the Trump/Russia probe began and whether the FISA warrants that were authorized to target Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were politically motivated, The Hill reported.
“We are laying out the very important case here tonight why the second special counsel is needed with regards to misconduct at the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI related to FISA abuse, how and why the Hillary Clinton email probe ended, how and why the Trump-Russia probe began, and we cannot expect the DOJ and FBI to full investigate themselves, Mr. Speaker,” Zeldin said in his floor speech.
“This is not about politics, but about the principles that bind together our nation and our Constitutional system of government, equality under the law, an impartiality of justice. It’s what brings all of us to the House floor tonight, urging the Attorney General of the United States to take immediate action through the appointment of a second special counsel. Too many questions remain unanswered and too much is at stake,” Zeldin added.
See Zeldin’s speech below:
“It’s already known that there was wrongdoing as it relates to how and why the Clinton probe ended and how and why the Trump probe began,” Zeldin told the Beacon. “There was an investigation launched against President Trump and his family for winning the election without any evidence they committed a crime to win the election. I have a problem with that.”
According to the Beacon, a DOJ spokesman confirmed earlier this month that it had received a letter from Zeldin and 12 other lawmakers, outlining their reasons for the second special counsel. The spokesman did not comment further.
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