GOP chairmen: Sessions move to probe alleged FISA abuse 'a step in the right direction'

GOP chairmen: Sessions move to probe alleged FISA abuse 'a step in the right direction'
© Greg Nash

Two top House Republicans said Thursday that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Laura Ingraham: Migrant child detention centers 'essentially summer camps' Senate chaplain offers prayer 'as children are being separated from their parents' MORE's decision to appoint a federal prosecutor in Utah to investigate allegations of surveillance abuse by the FBI is a "step in the right direction."

Reps. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Outcry raises pressure on GOP for immigration fix Gowdy: House will use 'full arsenal' of constitutional weapons to get DOJ, FBI compliance on subpoenas MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Schumer warns 'House moderates' against immigration compromise bill The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Furor grows over child separation policy MORE (R-Va.), the chairmen of the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees, respectively, said in a statement that they still believed the appointment of a special counsel was necessary to probe the allegations against the FBI.

But they also said they were "encouraged" by Sessions's appointment of U.S. Attorney John Huber to investigate potential abuses.

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"While we continue to believe the appointment of a second Special Counsel is necessary, this is a step in the right direction. We expect that U.S. Attorney Huber, given his reputation, will conduct an independent and thorough investigation," Gowdy and Goodlatte said.

"Such an investigation is critical to restoring the reputation of both the Bureau and DOJ in the eyes of the American people," they added.

The statement came after Sessions revealed in a letter to the Republican chairmen that he had declined to appoint a special counsel to oversee such an investigation, at least for now.

He also revealed in that letter that Huber was investigating whether the FBI and Justice Department had abused their authority in obtaining a clandestine surveillance warrant on Carter Page, a former foreign policy adviser to President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE's campaign.

Sessions has faced pressure for months to appoint a special counsel to oversee such an investigation. He said in the letter to Goodlatte and Gowdy that he had directed the department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz, to open a probe into the allegations. That investigation was formally announced on Wednesday.