What Circumstances Does AG Sessions Consider 'Extraordinary' Enough to Name a Special Counsel?

By Susan Jones | March 30, 2018 | 11:09 AM EDT

Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) appeared on Fox News's "Ingraham Angle" on March 29, 2018. (Photo: Screen grab)

(CNSNews.com) - Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday told Republicans in Congress that the appointment of a special counsel "is reserved for use in only the most 'extraordinary circumstances,'” and therefore, Sessions won't appoint one to investigate the conduct of senior FBI officials regarding FISA warrants, political bias, lies, and other matters.

Instead, Sessions -- in a letter to Republican committee chairmen on Thursday -- said he has asked John Huber, a U.S. attorney in Utah, to make recommendations on what more may need to be done and "whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel."

Two members of the House Freedom Caucus, Reps. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on Thursday they disagree with Sessions' decision:

“When the attorney general writes Congress and says, only under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ do we appoint a second special counsel, well, how about these facts, Laura?” Jordan asked.

“James Comey's been fired; Deputy Director Andrew Mccabe has been fired; Jim Baker, former chief counsel of the FBI, has been demoted and reassigned; Peter Strzok, former deputy head of counterintelligence, has been demoted and reassigned; and Lisa Page, former FBI counsel, has been demoted and reassigned. If those aren't extraordinary circumstances warranting a second special counsel, I don't know what the heck is.

“So I don't know why the attorney general keeps postponing this,” Jordan continued. “Everyone in town knows we need a second special counsel to get to the bottom of this. How can Mr. Huber -- he's probably a great lawyer, I don't know much about Mr. Huber from Utah -- but how can he investigate his boss, Rod Rosenstein? That's who he reports to. 

Mr. Rosenstein is involved in all this FISA abuse that we think took place,” Jordan said. “So you have to have a second special counsel. I hope just Jeff Sessions figures that out and names one very soon.”

 

Rosenstein signed some of the FISA warrants extending the FBI surveillance on Carter Page, an unpaid adviser with the Trump campaign.

“Attorney General Sessions just talked about extraordinary circumstances," Rep. Meadows said. "Well how much more extraordinary do you have to be, when you fire the central player in the investigation (Comey), that's one critical component. And so we need to have the special counsel.

“I disagree with the attorney general, and I can tell you tonight, I went through and reviewed some redacted things that were given to our committee, and on seven pages, there were 12 material facts -- material facts, not just names -- material facts that were omitted by the Department of Justice,” Meadows said.

“It's time that they come clean and give Congress what we need,” he continued. “When we look at the multiple reactions that have taken place, this Department of Justice is not complying with the subpoena and with the oversight responsibility we have in Congress. For the attorney general to suggest that there is not enough there is just extremely disappointing.”

Ingraham asked Meadows why he thinks Sessions is so resistant to the appointment of a second special counsel:

"Well, I think he's being poorly served,” Meadows said. “When you look at it, when I've had conversations with him and the deputy attorney general, it's almost like they have a set of talking points that they go to, but the facts don't support these talking points.

“I would suggest both of them need to look at the fine details of this, and when they do, they will come to the same conclusion that Jim and I have come to -- is it's time for a special counsel.”

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