The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Special counsel unnecessary in FBI abuse probe


April 8, 2018

The decision by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to assign the Department of Justice inspector general and a federal prosecutor from Utah to look into allegations of FBI abuses in its probe of Trump associates — rather than name another special counsel — has angered some in his own party who had been demanding another version of Robert Mueller.

But the decision by Sessions is the better option for a variety of reasons.

As Mueller and Ken Starr before him have shown, the special counsel adventure is virtually without boundaries or financial limits. It’s a prosecutorial field day with the ever-useful “lying to the FBI” card ready to play time and again.

And, as some argue should have been the case with Mueller, there are no substantive allegations of criminal conduct to justify another special counsel to look into the FBI and its handling of the applications for warrants filed with the super-secret FISA court to spy on Trump associates.

But, like Russia collusion, there is enough smoke to warrant a thorough airing.

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid millions of dollars to a private company that came up with the infamous “Trump dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. There also are the infamous texts between a top FBI agent and his paramour showing a clear preference for Hillary Clinton and hinting at ways to keep Trump out of office.

All this has provided fodder to conspiracy theorists who talk about what they say is the “Deep State” plot to do in Trump — the narrative that duels with those who say Trump was put into office to do the bidding of Vladimir Putin.

So in both cases, the public deserves some real answers.

Presumably, we will get some from Mueller on Russia collusion — one way or another. And hopefully we will get some from Inspector General Michael Horowitz and the U.S. Attorney from Utah, John Huber, on questions ranging from whether the FBI tanked in the Clinton e-mail investigation to alleged misconduct surrounding the Trump dossier and surveillance of Trump associates.

Both Huber and Horowitz are Obama appointees, and both are well respected.

At the end of the day, this was a good decision. We don’t need another special counsel, but some answers would help clear the air.

— Albuquerque Journal


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