DOJ Charges Former FBI Agent For Allegedly Leaking 'National Defense Information'
- Author: Rogelio Becker Mar 30, 2018,
Mar 30, 2018, 4:43
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will not appoint a second special counsel to investigate the FBI's handling of the Russian Federation investigation, opting instead to use a US attorney from Utah to oversee an internal review of the matter, he told Congress Thursday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota is not involved in the prosecution of Albury. Sessions today said he won't immediately appoint a new special counsel to investigate a number of Republican grievances involving the Justice Department, despite mounting pressure from members of his own party.
GOP lawmakers asked for a second special counsel to investigate how the FBI obtained a warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page and to look into aspects of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
This comes after Attorney General Jeff Sessions and members of Congress requested such an investigation. He is "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 added.
Huber's review covers a wide range of issues that Republicans have complained about since a year ago, from how the FBI handled investigations related to Hillary Clinton, to claims that the FBI made missteps when it sought a warrant to conduct surveillance on a former adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, along with Republican Sens.
Huber may now find himself thrust into the middle of a fierce partisan struggle - with Republicans arguing anything short of a special counsel is insufficient because the Justice Department can not investigate its own people, and Democrats maintaining that any allegations of bias are an unfounded ploy to distract from Mueller's investigation into possible coordination between Trump campaign associates and Russian officials. In his letter, Sessions reassured the chairmen that if Huber found a need for a special counsel, he would appoint one. Former President Obama appointed him in 2015, and Trump re-nominated him in 2017.
Sessions' decision will likely aggravate congressional Republicans who contend that anything but an independent special counsel is insufficient, arguing that Justice Department officials investigating other Justice Department officials is bound to be ineffective.
Republican members of Congress have alleged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation improperly relied on information given to it by Steele to obtain its surveillance warrants.
"If the AG orders you to open an investigation, and you are the DOJ IG, you may have no choice", he said.
Sessions revealed, however, a federal prosecutor is examining the allegations.
Sessions referred the Republican complaints to the inspector general's office, a move that enraged Trump, who denounced it as "disgraceful" and said Sessions should have ordered his own investigation.
"Why is Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigative potentially massive FISA abuse", Trump wrote.