Amid growing uproar from GOP lawmakers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has decided against the appointment of a special counsel to investigate alleged abuses at the Justice Department and FBI.
Several Republican officials had urged Sessions to name a special counsel to launch formal inquiries into how the FBI and DOJ had handled investigations involving Hillary Clinton and how the Bureau and federal prosecutors obtained FISA warrants to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page.
Opting against a special counsel, Mr. Sessions has instead designated the U.S. Attorney for Utah, John Huber, to conduct a review of both matters.
In a letter to GOP committee chairmen and ranking members explaining the concerns did not yet rise to a level requiring the appointment of a special counsel, Sessions wrote he had asked Huber to review the areas of concern concurrent with DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s probe of the department.
“I am confident that Mr. Huber’s review will include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and the facts,” Sessions wrote to committee chairs.
Seeking to assure the committee chairs, Mr. Sessions added upon the conclusion of Huber’s review he would decide if further action into the matters was appropriate and, if necessary, appoint a special counsel.
Responding to the letter, House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committee chairs, Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), said in a statement that Sessions’ decision was a “step in the right direction,” but still believe a special prosecutor will be needed at a later date.
“Such an investigation is critical to restoring the reputation of both the Bureau and DOJ in the eyes of the American people,” they said in a statement.
Mr. Horowitz has been probing allegations of misconduct over former FBI Director James Comey’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and whether FBI officials improperly leaked information ahead of the 2016 presidential election since January 2017.
In addition to reviewing Hillary Clinton’s email server and alleged FIAS abuses, it is presumed Huber will be tasked with examining alleged corruption at the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One to Russia’s nuclear regulatory agency, Rosatom.
[Daily Signal] [The Hill] [Photo courtesy Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters via National Review]