A key member of President Donald Trump’s outside legal team called Tuesday for the appointment of a separate special prosecutor to look into possible conflicts of interest involving FBI and Department of Justice officials.
Jay Sekulow made the call following a Fox News report exposing that the wife of a DOJ official demoted for hiding his meetings with the firm behind the anti-Trump “dossier” herself worked for the same firm, Fusion GPS, during the 2016 election.
Trump’s lawyer, Sekulow, told Fox News that a special prosecutor should be appointed to look into these issues.
“The Department of Justice and FBI cannot ignore the multiple problems that have been created by these obvious conflicts of interests. These new revelations require the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate,” Sekulow also told Axios.
President Trump’s team is not at this point making any formal petition seeking a special prosecutor, but is making its views known. Sekulow stressed that this call is not connected to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia meddling investigation or Trump’s confidence in Mueller.
“I was asked about it, and let my feelings be known,” Sekulow told Fox News on Tuesday.
A group of House Republicans for months has called for the appointment of a second special counsel to probe certain Obama and Clinton-related controversies, something Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggests he is contemplating.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also tweeted Friday, “I will be challenging Rs and Ds on Senate Judiciary Committee to support a Special Counsel to investigate ALL THINGS 2016 — not just Trump and Russia.”
The discoveries about the DOJ official and his wife follow reports that an FBI official was discharged from Mueller’s team earlier this year over anti-Trump texts he swapped with another ex-investigator with whom he was romantically involved.
Together, the details have fueled GOP concerns about the objectivity of key officials at the DOJ and FBI.
Fox News reported last week that Bruce Ohr was demoted amid an investigation into his contacts with Fusion GPS-tied figures. It was shown that evidence collected by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), chaired by Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., indicates that Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the “dossier.”
Additionally, House investigators have determined that Ohr met shortly after the election with Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS – the opposition research firm that hired Steele to compile the dossier with funds supplied by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
On Monday, Fox News announced that House intelligence committee investigators confirm the official’s wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS.
The definite nature of Mrs. Ohr’s responsibilities – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains uncertain, but a summary of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written largely on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.
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