Seventeen Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), submitted a resolution Tuesday demanding the appointment of a second special counsel to probe “misconduct” by Justice Department and FBI officials during the 2016 presidential election.
Will be introing this res today w/@RepMarkMeadows @Jim_Jordan @RepDeSantis @RepMattGaetz & many others detailing misconduct at highest levels of DOJ/FBI re FISA abuse, how/why Clinton probe ended, Trump-Russia probe began & calling for 2nd Special Counsel https://t.co/yr6IJxcxch
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) May 22, 2018
The 12-page resolution requested the Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel to probe matters associated to three topics: the ending of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, the progress of the Trump-Russia investigation from its “origins through the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel, and abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the warrant application process.”
Read the full text of the resolution here.
“In light of evidence that raises serious concerns, it’s critical to determine whether or not our own Justice Department and FBI worked to tip the scales of justice, exploited the tools of the intelligence community in order to benefit one political candidate, or failed basic decency by circumventing our laws,” said Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA).
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) May 22, 2018
Despite numerous calls from Republican lawmakers, Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined to appoint a second special counsel in March and instead assigned federal prosecutor U.S. Attorney John Huber of the District of Utah to work with Justice Department Inspector General Micheal Horowitz to probe misconduct.
Republican lawmakers say Horowitz lacks the authority to adequately investigate misconduct because he doesn’t have subpoena power.
“I’m a big fan of Mike Horowitz, but he has no jurisdiction over witnesses who have left the department or never worked there,” House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told Fox News host Bill Hemmer in March.
When asked for a list of officials outside of the watchdog’s jurisdiction, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) rattled off a list.
“Everyone from Jim Comey, Andy McCabe, Rybicki, Sidney Blumenthal, Shearer, ” the outgoing lawmaker said.
After meeting with President Trump at the White House on Monday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein agreed to direct Horowitz to investigate how the FBI “conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”
“Based on the meeting with the President, the Department of Justice has asked the Inspector General to 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,” said a White House statement released after the meeting.
“It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.”