As reported by The Associated Press, Darrell Issa – Republican representative from California – has recently been calling for a special prosecutor to investigate potential Donald Trump Russian ties. As many people have pointed out, a situation like this would seem to require that the Attorney General recuse himself so that an objective investigator could look into the matter. So far, Jeff Sessions shows no sign of doing so.
History of Special Prosecutors
Special prosecutors have often been appointed in the past when there might be some question as to whether the presidential administration in question could objectively investigate itself. Some have argued that special prosecutors have also been used for political vendettas by one party or the other.
Perhaps the best-known special prosecutor was Archibald Cox, who investigated Richard Nixon’s Watergate activities until the infamous Saturday Night Massacre in which he was fired from his job by Nixon. This was quickly followed by the resignations of both the Attorney General and his assistant
A more recent example of this type of inquiry was carried out by The United States Office of the Independent Counsel led by Kenneth Starr. This investigation looked into the Whitewater scandal and the death of Vince Foster. For most Democrats, this was considered a fishing expedition, particularly when it expanded to include alleged sexual improprieties by Bill Clinton.
Darrell Issa’s Call for Prosecutor
Representative Issa – hardly a liberal leaning Republican – is calling for a special prosecutor to look into both possible Russian interference in the 2016 election and to investigate any connections there might be between the Trump campaign/administration and the Russian government.
As reported by The Sacramento Bee, Darrell Issa specifically wants an independent special prosecutor to look into whether the Russians used hacking, disinformation, social media, and fake news to try to influence the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump.
The outcome of the 2016 election came as a considerable shock to many, particularly given that the polls showed Hillary Clinton winning the Electoral College by a significant margin. Of course, aside from the alleged Russian interference in the election, any number of other factors could have played a role – from the release of a damaging statement by the FBI only a week before the election to Hillary Clinton’s failure to even visit Michigan or Wisconsin.
In addition to his call for a special prosecutor to look into the impact Vladimir Putin and his government may have had on the 2016 election, Issa wants this prosecutor to investigate Donald Trump and his entire administration for any evidence they may have colluded with the Russians – either during the election to damage the campaign of Hillary Clinton or after the election to aid the Russians in the removal of U.S. sanctions.
As reported by The Associated Press, General Michael Flynn was forced to resign from his post as National Security Advisor in the face of allegations he had directly offered a quid pro quo arrangement with the Russians in which they would not respond to sanctions then being imposed by the Obama administration.
In return for this, Flynn allegedly promised the Russians the Trump administration, once it was in power, would immediately remove these sanctions – and perhaps others related to Russian actions in Crimea and the Ukraine.
Darrell Issa has good reason to be concerned about the situation. Aside from Flynn himself, many members of Donald Trump’s administration have very close ties to Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Russia in general. The newly sworn in Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has close business ties with Putin and has actually received a medal from him. Evidence suggests Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, worked for Russia’s Ukrainian puppet president until he was overthrown. And Trump himself may well have outstanding business loans to Russia.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]