Jay Sekulow, a part of President Trump’s outside legal team, is now calling for a second special prosecutor to investigate conflicts of interests within the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations.
“The Department of Justice and FBI cannot ignore the multiple problems that have been created by these obvious conflicts of interests,” Sekulow said to Axios on Tuesday, December 12. “These new revelations require the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate.”
These statements were no doubt spurred by a Fox News report published last Monday, which details the account of a DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, who was demoted for concealing meetings with the men behind the infamous “Trump-Russia Dossier,” which contains many unverified salacious allegations. It turns out that not only was Mr. Ohr taking meetings with these men, but his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, which developed the controversial intelligence document.
It’s important to mention that while Fusion GPS was originally contracted by Republicans to gain research on Trump, it was then used by Democrats and Hillary Clinton for the 2016 campaign, at which point, the contentious dossier was released, according to New York Daily News. President Trump, of course, has declared the dossier as “fake news” and denies it wholeheartedly.
This isn’t the first time that members of the Trump team have called for another special prosecutor besides Robert Mueller. On November 13, the Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was entertaining the idea of appointing a second special prosecutor to investigate matters such as wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation, the FBI Investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, and the sale of Uranium One to Russia.
Sekulow’s proposal is of no surprise due to the fact that President Trump himself has criticized the DOJ for failing to investigate conservative concerns and dealings by Hillary Clinton. President Trump has also attacked both the Russia investigation, calling it a “witch hunt,” and the FBI itself for failing to investigate Clinton properly.
After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2017
Reporting by Fox News stresses that the Trump team has not called for any formal appointment of a second special prosecutor and that this call for a new appointment does not have anything to do with current special prosecutor Robert Mueller and the ongoing Russia probe. However, some find that difficult to believe due to the fact that there has been a recent effort by both the White House and the Republican Party to paint Robert Mueller’s investigation as tainted. This line of attack has been given even more momentum since it was revealed that two FBI agents, who are no longer part of the Russia probe, exchanged text messages calling the would-be president an “idiot.”
In a move called “unprofessional” and “odd” by former assistant U.S. attorney and Duke University law school professor Samuel Buell, DOJ officials held a small, private briefing where they revealed these text messages to lawmakers and select members of the media, Politico reports. Critics of the probe claim that there is rampant insider bias in the FBI and Mueller’s team, which prevents them from conducting the Russia investigation properly. However, defenders of the special prosecutor and the FBI claim that individual agents are allowed to have personal opinions on the president (like most Americans) and still do their job in an impartial manner, especially given reports of some members of the Trump team having similar opinions about the president.
As of now, CNN reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has gone on record stating that there is no cause to fire special prosecutor Robert Mueller. Yet, with continued attacks against the Russia probe and with Republicans’ lingering concerns about Hillary Clinton, there could soon be a second special prosecutor in Washington.