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Conservative lawmakers keep up calls for second special counsel

Several conservative GOP lawmakers on Thursday reaffirmed their demand for a second special counsel to investigate alleged surveillance abuses at the Justice Department.

Reps. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBiden's no-drama White House chief Ex-Trump aide Meadows pushed DOJ to probe multiple election theories: report Trump working with Gingrich on policy agenda: report MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanThe tale of the last bipartisan unicorns Sunday shows preview: Biden foreign policy in focus as Dem tensions boil up back home House Judiciary releases McGahn testimony on Trump MORE (R-Ohio) spoke to the need for a second special counsel during a joint appearance with Fox News host Laura Ingraham after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHouse Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists Senate Judiciary begins investigation into DOJ lawmaker subpoenas NSA leaker Reality Winner released from federal prison MORE resisted such demands earlier in the day.

During the interview, Jordan accused top FBI officials of omitting facts when approaching a secretive court under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to get a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

"Laura, it's supposed to [be] the truth, the whole truth, not part of it, not [with] redactions, and when you go to the court, you gotta give them the whole truth. They did not do that at the FISA court," Jordan said.

"And it was those people – two of them have been fired, three of them have been demoted," he said. "And we don't think that's extraordinary circumstances warranting a second special counsel?"

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Meadows, the chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, and Jordan, the group's previous chair, have been calling for another special counsel for months alongside more than a dozen other GOP lawmakers.

Republicans have seized on revelations that the FBI did not save five months' worth of text messages between two agents accused of pro-Clinton and anti-Trump bias during the 2016 presidential race.

Sessions announced earlier Thursday that he would not appoint a second special counsel to investigate alleged FISA abuses but would instead appoint a federal prosecutor from Utah to lead an investigation inside the Justice Department.

Reps. Trey GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteBottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden Press: Trump's final presidential pardon: himself MORE (R-Va.), the chairmen of the House Oversight and Government Reform and Judiciary committees, respectively, called the move "a step in the right direction" while saying they still believed a special counsel was necessary.

"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," the two chairmen said in a statement.

"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 push to name a second special counsel, which President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE has also pressed to see, includes top House Republicans such as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Pelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement MORE (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseWisconsin state lawmaker compares museum mask policy to Nazi Party Overnight Health Care: Public option plan left out of Biden budget proposal | House Republicans demand congressional probe into COVID-19 origin | Half the total US population have received at least one vaccine dose House Republicans demand congressional probe into COVID-19 origin MORE (R-La.).

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanZaid Jilani: Paul Ryan worried about culture war distracting from issues 'that really concern him' The Memo: Marjorie Taylor Greene exposes GOP establishment's lack of power The Hill's 12:30 Report - Senators back in session after late-night hold-up MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBipartisan infrastructure deal takes fire from left and right Jayapal to Dems: Ditch bipartisanship, go it alone on infrastructure The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Biden's European trip MORE (R-Ky.) have yet to endorse the idea of appointing another special counsel, which some Republicans fear could be used to muddy special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel MORE's probe into Trump campaign associates' ties to Russia and Moscow's meddling in he 2016 election.