US House Judiciary Committee Republicans have called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to set up a second special counsel to address actions taken by Obama administration officials as well as Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“We call on you to appoint a second special counsel to investigate a plethora of matters connected to the 2016 election and its aftermath, including actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” the lawmakers stated.
A group of 20 Republicans led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) requested the appointment of a second prosecutor “to investigate unaddressed matters” of the 2016 elections. The plea was made in a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
The authors of the letter believe that the current counsel, led by former spy agency chief Robert Mueller, who is dealing with alleged Russian meddling in the US presidential elections, is not sufficient to address many other issues beyond those supposedly involving Moscow.
“The Judiciary Committee members express concern that the directive given to Special Counsel Robert Mueller is narrow in scope and many concerns arising out of the 2016 presidential election and its aftermath are not being investigated.”
The lawmakers said that the previous Clinton investigation could have been undermined by Lynch, who they said may have forced Comey to mislead the American public on the case, citing the former FBI chief’s testimony.
In addition to this case, the Judiciary Committee suggests that the new counsel address some 13 other questions, many of which they said are connected with Clinton, including classified information leaks.
The authors are also looking into whether “anyone in the Obama Administration, including Mr. Comey, Ms. Lynch, Ms. Susan Rice, Ms. Samantha Power, or others, had any knowledge about the ‘unmasking’ of individuals on then candidate-Trump’s campaign team, transition team, or both.”
“Connections between the Clinton campaign, or the Clinton Foundation, and foreign entities, including those from Russia and Ukraine,” are also among the issues the group wants the new council to address.
Clinton has repeatedly put the blame for her defeat in the presidential race on Russia, WikiLeaks and the former FBI chief Comey. In October 2016, whistleblowing website WikiLeaks published a collection of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. At the same time, then FBI Director Comey investigated the use of a private email server to discuss official issues by Clinton while she was secretary of state.
Russia has repeatedly denied any collusion with the Trump campaign or interference in the 2016 election, and has pointed to a lack of evidence to support any such claims.