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 Randall MeadowsEx-Ukraine ambassador arrives to give testimony GOP seeks to gain more control of impeachment narrative Conservative lawmakers demand Schiff's recusal from Trump impeachment inquiry MORE (R-N.C.) and Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanIn testimony, Dems see an ambassador scorned, while GOP defends Trump Ex-Ukraine ambassador arrives to give testimony Graham threatens to call Volker to testify if Democrats don't release testimony 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 SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy 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 GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyThe Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions Trump says Gowdy can't join his legal team 'for a couple months' Trump grants posthumous pardon to Manhattan Project contributor MORE (R-S.C.) and Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteUSCIS chief Cuccinelli blames Paul Ryan for immigration inaction Immigrant advocacy groups shouldn't be opposing Trump's raids Top Republican releases full transcript of Bruce Ohr interview 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 John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE has also pressed to see, includes top House Republicans such as Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyFive ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble The Hill's Morning Report — Arrest of Giuliani associates triggers many questions Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey MORE (R-Calif.) and Majority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseFive ways Trump's Syria decision spells trouble Cheney slated to introduce bill to place sanctions on Turkey Trump holds call with House GOP amid impeachment inquiry MORE (R-La.).

House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAmash: Trump incorrect in claiming Congress didn't subpoena Obama officials Democrats hit Scalia over LGBTQ rights Three-way clash set to dominate Democratic debate MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMattis warns 'ISIS will resurge' without U.S. pressure on Syria McConnell tightlipped as impeachment furor grows Hillicon Valley: Google, Reddit to testify on tech industry protections | Trump joins Amazon-owned Twitch | House to vote on bill to combat foreign interference 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) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE's probe into Trump campaign associates' ties to Russia and Moscow's meddling in he 2016 election.