Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are formally calling for a second special counsel to investigate the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Steele dossier.
The Republicans, led by Chairman Chuck Grassley, called on the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general to explore the FBI and DOJ’s handling of salacious document in February.
But in a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, committee Republicans argued that a special counsel is needed because the inspector general’s office “does not have the tools that a prosecutor would to gather all the facts.”
They argued that the DOJ watchdog does not have the ability to obtain testimony from witnesses who are not Justice Department employees. It has recently emerged that government officials in agencies outside of the Justice Department and FBI handled the dossier prior to the 2016 election. Several State Department officials were aware of the document, and at least one official in that agency was in contact with Christopher Steele, the former MI6 officer who wrote the dossier.
“We believe that a special counsel is needed to work with the Inspector General to independently gather the facts and make prosecutorial decisions, if any are merited,” reads the letter to Sessions and Rosenstein.
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