Sessions stresses confidence in DOJ watchdog handling FISA abuse claims

Sessions stresses confidence in DOJ watchdog handling FISA abuse claims
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Dem moves to force vote on bill protecting Mueller Toobin goes off on Dershowitz for ‘carrying water’ for Trump Overnight Regulation: Groups sue over decision to end pay-data rule | EU proposes tax on tech companies | Sessions issues memo on death penalty for drug cases | Pruitt spent 5K on first class flights MORE on Friday held open the possibility of appointing a special prosecutor to oversee an investigation into the FBI's handling of the Russia inquiry, but insisted that the Justice Department's (DOJ) internal watchdog was well-equipped to carry out the probe.

His defense of the DOJ's approach follows criticism by President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse expected to vote on omnibus Thursday afternoon House passes 'right to try' drug bill Spending bill rejects Trump’s proposed EPA cut MORE.

"Our Office of Inspector General has almost 500 employees, investigators and prosecutors, and they're going to work on this and get to the bottom of it," Sessions told Fox News's Tucker Carlson.

But pressed by Carlson on whether a special prosecutor — as opposed to the Justice Department's inspector general — should carry out the investigation, Sessions said that "it could be one day that a special prosecutor would be required."


Sessions ordered the inspector general last month to examine whether FBI officials abused their authority by obtaining a secret surveillance order on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. That allegation was made by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee.

But the move angered Trump, who blasted Sessions for putting the inspector general on the case instead of a special prosecutor, calling the attorney general's actions "disgraceful" and alleging the inspector general is biased because he's an "Obama guy."

Trump previously claimed that Obama administration officials inappropriately surveilled his campaign. 

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, rose to that position in 2012 under former President Obama, but he has served under numerous Republican and Democratic administrations. 

Sessions defended the move after the president's criticism, saying in a rare statement that he intended to carry out his duties with "integrity and honor."

Powerful Republicans have also called on the DOJ to appoint a special counsel to investigate the case.