GOP Lawmakers Request New Special Counsel Probe On FISA Abuses

Republican Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy argue a special counsel could conduct a broader investigation into the Justice Department and FBI.
Posted at 11:03 AM, Mar 07, 2018

Two prominent Republican lawmakers want a special counsel to investigate potential government surveillance abuse as well as possible bias and conflicts of interest at the U.S. Justice Department and FBI.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy made the request Tuesday in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Their request centers around the FBI and Justice Department's application for a warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

GOP memo released earlier this year claimed the agencies obtained and renewed that warrant using information from the so-called Steele dossier. It detailed accusations of Donald Trump's connections to Russia and was partly funded by Democrats. Democratic lawmakers said in their own memo the dossier had nothing to do with obtaining the warrant.

Sessions has already said he'd have the Justice Department's inspector general investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

But Goodlatte and Gowdy argue the Justice Department can't review itself and claim a special counsel could conduct a much broader investigation.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, slammed the special counsel request, calling it an attempt to distract from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.