Sessions, for now, rebuffs GOP calls for second special counsel to probe FBI actions in Clinton and Russia probes
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday rebuffed — at least for now — a call from GOP leaders to appoint a second special counsel to look into a host of their concerns and announced that he has asked the U.S. Attorney in Utah to spearhead a broad review. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
Sessions made the revelation in a letter to three key Republican leaders in the House and Senate who have called on him to appoint a second special counsel, noting that Justice Department regulations call for such appointments only in “extraordinary circumstances,” and that he would need to conclude “the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for the matter from the Department of Justice.”
He asserted that the department has previously tackled high-profile and resource intensive probes, and revealed he had named U.S. attorney John W. Huber to lead a review of the topics that the legislators had requested he explore. Those topics include aspects of the Russia investigation and several matters related to Hillary Clinton and her family’s foundation.
“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. “I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review, will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”
Sessions in November had revealed to GOP legislators he had directed senior federal prosecutors to look matters they wanted probed, and he said in an interview with Fox News earlier this month that that review was being led by a person outside of Washington. Sessions’s, though, had not revealed the name of that person, and his public comments have done little to quiet the cries for a second special counsel.