In the wake of inspector general Michael Horowitz’s investigation of alleged politically motivated misconduct by Justice Department and FBI officials during the 2016 presidential election, 17 Republican House members introduced a resolution Tuesday calling for a second special counsel.
House conservatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate possible misconduct by the Department of Justice and the FBI during the 2016 presidential race.
“The Justice Department cannot be expected to investigate itself,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), flanked by 11 other Republican lawmakers, said at a press conference announcing the measure.
The Hill reports:
Zeldin said Attorney General Jeff Sessions should tap an independent investigator to examine whether FBI and Justice Department officials obtained surveillance warrants with insufficient evidence.
The Republicans also want a probe to look into the government’s decision to end the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server and the reasoning behind the government’s decision to launch a probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) and Jody Hice (Ga.) were among the Republicans at the press conference.
The press conference came a day after an unusual meeting at the White House between President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.
Rosenstein has agreed to have the Department of Justice inspector general review whether the FBI has done anything inappropriate in its investigation of the Trump campaign, which predated Mueller’s probe. Trump demanded action after reports that an FBI informant talked to three members of the Trump campaign team.
The 12-page resolution lists a series of points that the lawmakers say warrant an investigation.
The document questions whether top FBI and Justice Department officials acted in a politically motivated way during the election, including how “insufficient intelligence and biased motivations” may have launched the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference.
The resolution alleges that “deeply flawed and questionable” Foreign Surveillance Act warrant applications were obtained during the election by government officials to surveil Trump campaign aides. It says the warrants were obtained on the basis of “illicit sources and politically biased intelligence.”
Democrats have blasted the GOP calls for a second special counsel as an attempt to distract or even undermine Mueller’s investigation in order to shield Trump.
The lawmakers attending the press conference, when asked, said the president has not encouraged them to pursue this resolution.