Congressman Trey Gowdy and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte are demanding Attorney General Jeff Sessions appoint another special counsel to investigate “conflicts of interests” under the Obama administration.
The two congressmen specifically want the Department of Justice to look into the FISA abuses recently made known by a top secret, Republican memo.
Gowdy said the DOJ Inspector General does not have the authority to interview more than 20 witnesses, so a special counsel with such authority is needed.
Washington Times reports, “Sessions has already tasked the inspector general with a probe, but Mr. Goodlatte and Mr. Gowdy said that office does not have the authority to probe or compel cooperation from former employees — something the two lawmakers said would likely be needed, given some of the key figures who are no longer serving in government.”
“Matters have arisen—both recently and otherwise—which necessitate the appointment of a Special Counsel. We do not make this observation and attendant request lightly,” Gowdy and Goodlatte wrote in a letter to Sessions, reports Fox News.
BREAKING: Chairmen @RepGoodlatte and @TGowdySC call for a second Special Counsel to investigate potential bias, conflicts of interest, FISA abuse & other decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 and 2017. https://t.co/eKt2PJhnNj
— House Judiciary ⚖ (@HouseJudiciary) March 6, 2018
Per Fox News:
Gowdy, R-S.C., and Goodlatte, R-Va., penned a letter Tuesday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Gowdy and Goodlatte spoke about the discovery of new information as their reasoning behind calling for a second independent counsel.
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“What changed for me was the knowledge that there are two dozen witnesses that Michael Horowitz, the [DOJ] Inspector General, would not have access to,” the South Carolina Congressman said, per Fox News. “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.”
Check it out:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 6, 2018
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) March 7, 2018
Last week, Sessions announced that Horowitz would investigate allegations of government surveillance abuse in light of memos released on Capitol Hill by the House Intelligence Committee which suggested, at least on the Republican side, that the dossier compiled by ex-U.K. intelligence officer Christopher Steele was used to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“Absolutely, this whole FISA warrant was on Carter Page,” Gowdy told Fox News.
Goodlatte agreed stating that the case on which the warrant was built was “highly suspect.”
The lawmakers wrote, “There is evidence of bias, trending toward animus, among those charged with investigating serious cases.”
They added, “There is evidence political opposition research was used in court filings. There is evidence this political opposition research was neither vetted before it was used nor fully revealed to the relevant tribunal.”
Here’s the letter:
Gowdy/Goodlatte calling for a Special Counsel to investigate crimes involving bias & #FISA abuse at the DOJ. Political opposition research was used in court filings & was neither vetted before it was used nor fully revealed to the relevant tribunal. https://t.co/G6W2A1NP2c pic.twitter.com/MMCOfhUb3o
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) March 6, 2018
Congressmen Mark Meadows and Lee Zeldin agreed with the call for another special counsel over social media:
As @Jim_Jordan and I have said for 7 months, it is time for a second special counsel to investigate the deeply troubling questions surrounding the DOJ and FBI. We applaud Chairman Trey Gowdy and Chairman Bob Goodlatte for their work.
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) March 6, 2018
Momentum from last week’s letter is growing. @RepGoodlatte & @TGowdySC just joined our call for a 2nd Special Counsel! We can’t expect the DOJ/FBI to investigate themselves. Accountability is essential re FISA Abuse & how/why Clinton probe ended & Trump-Russia probe began. https://t.co/IaxtQP2TGw
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) March 7, 2018