19:47, March 29 137 0 abajournal.com

2018-03-29 19:47:06
Sessions says US attorney is reviewing FBI conduct, second special counsel not needed now

Attorney General Jeff Sessions told Republican lawmakers in a letter on Thursday that there is no need—at this time—to appoint a special counsel to investigate the FBI’s handling of high-profile investigations.

Sessions said he has appointed U.S. Attorney John Huber of Utah to conduct an inquiry and make recommendations on whether there is a need for additional resources or the appointment of a special counsel. The Washington Post, CNN and Politico have stories.

Sessions said Huber is conducting his work in cooperation with the Justice Department’s inspector general, who has been investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.

The inspector general has also announced review of the process used to obtain surveillance warrants with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Republicans have complained that the FBI and the Justice Department improperly relied on a dossier partly financed by the Clinton campaign to obtain a surveillance warrant from the court for Carter Page, a former campaign adviser to Donald Trump.

Sessions said he appointed Huber after a request for further investigation by the Republican lawmakers. The attorney general addressed his letter to Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; House Judiciary Committee chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va.; and House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

Goodlatte has called for a second special counsel to address topics that include: Clinton’s handling of classified information in emails on her private server; the FBI’s handling of the email investigation; leaks of nonpublic information, including those by former FBI director James Comey; connections between the Clinton Foundation and Russia; and whether Clinton Foundation donations influenced the Obama administration’s approval of the sale of a Canadian uranium company to Russia’s nuclear agency.

Huber was appointed in 2015 by President Barack Obama, and reappointed last year by President Donald Trump.

“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 said in the letter.