Sessions rebuffs GOP calls for second special counsel to probe Federal Bureau of Investigation

Justice Dept. IG looking at allegations of FBI surveillance abuses

United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions visits families of opioid overdose victims in Lexington Thomson Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday asked a federal prosecutor in Utah to investigate Republican allegations of misconduct against the Justice Department and the FBI, according to a letter he sent to lawmakers. Upon the conclusion of that review, Sessions said he will determine whether any of their findings merit the appointment of a special counsel. Last year, Sessions pledged to clamp down on leaks, noting that the Justice Department had more than tripled the number of active leak investigations since President Barack Obama left office and that the FBI had created a new counterintelligence unit to focus on such cases. Check back for updates.

Huber was appointed by President Obama in 2015 as the USA attorney in Utah.

Sessions' letter was addressed to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA), House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said a second special counsel to probe the Justice Department's handling of the Russian Federation investigation is not yet warranted.

"To justify such an appointment, the Attorney General would need to conclude that 'the public interest would be served by removing a large degree of responsibility for the matter from the Department of Justice", Sessions wrote. His own involvement in any decision is further complicated by the fact that he is recused from all investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Some Republicans on Capitol Hill have been calling for a special counsel, arguing the Justice Department can not investigate its own employees without bias.

Horowitz said his office will look at those claims, as well as communications among the spy, Christopher Steele, and Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation officials.

The newest edition of Time magazine may be focused on changes to the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but it's the front cover that is causing a stir.

Nonetheless, his decision not to appoint a special counsel, at least for now, is nearly certain to disappoint Republicans.

The Department of Justice inspector general has announced it will investigate the FBI over the use of a FISA court order to spy on a Trump campaign adviser, after the House Republican memo claimed the process was abused.

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