Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed a Utah federal prosecutor to lead a criminal investigation into a battery of matters which Republicans have called on a second special counsel to probe.
Sessions revealed in a letter dated on March 29 that he assigned U.S. Attorney John Huber to lead the case in November last year. In the same letter, Sessions said that he is not assigning a second special counsel but reserves the right to do so. Huber is cooperating with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who has 470 staff at his disposal.
Among other matters, Huber is specifically probing potentially criminal abuses of government surveillance by the Obama administration. Findings by the House Intelligence Committee suggest that top officials in the FBI, DOJ, and the State Department participated in obtaining a fraudulent warrant to spy on the Trump campaign before and after the 2016 election. Huber is also looking into handling the investigation of the Clinton Foundation connection to the Uranium One deal.
While establishment media focus on the fact that Sessions is not appointing a special counsel, the appointment of a federal prosecutor is “brilliant” because it combines the powers of the inspector general with a prosecutor to seek indictments and get quick results for Trump, according to Professor Jonathan Turley, a top national legal expert on special counsels and congressional investigations of government wrongdoing.
“I think people are missing what could be a brilliant move here by Sessions,” Turley said in an interview with Fox. “What he did is he essentially combined the powers of the inspector general with the powers of a line prosecutor.”
Trump had called on Sessions to appoint a Justice Department lawyer to investigate “massive FISA abuse” in February this year. Sessions did just that and months before Trump had called for it. Trump was likely not informed of Huber’s appointment since the investigation is politically charged and should remain impartial.
“Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse,” Trump wrote on Feb. 28. “Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!”
Huber’s legal authority as a U.S. Attorney allows him to impanel a grand jury anywhere in the United States. Sessions also pointed out that Huber is based in Utah, far away from what Trump refers to as the DC “swamp.”
“That distance between him and Washington is very important,” Turley said.
Recommendations from the probe by the investigator general have already resulted in the firing of the Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe. The final report by Horowitz has not yet been released.
Sessions also emphasized that he still reserves the option to appoint a special counsel.
“I receive regular updates from Mr. Huber and upon the conclusion of his review will receive his recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel,” Sessions wrote.
From The Epoch Times