GOP leader calls for special counsel on Clinton emails

GOP leader calls for special counsel on Clinton emails
© Greg Nash

The No. 2 Senate Republican wants the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to oversee the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Attorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation MORE’s use of a personal server throughout her time in office.

Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDemocrats make case to Senate parliamentarian for 8 million green cards Democrats to make pitch Friday for pathway to citizenship in spending bill Without major changes, more Americans could be victims of online crime MORE (R-Texas) sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday claiming the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding Clinton's email practices warrant the appointment of an independent official to coordinate the investigation.

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“The attorney general has a special duty to pursue justice even when political considerations run counter to doing so,” he wrote.

“Secretary Clinton’s misconduct is evident and her intent — since the beginning of her tenure as secretary of State — to keep information from the public is clear.”

“The present circumstances surrounding her use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of State could not be more extraordinary, nor the conflicts greater,” he added. “Americans deserve the assurance that justice — and justice alone — is being pursued.”

Cornyn’s demand is merely the latest in an escalating campaign by congressional Republicans to exert demands on the probe into Clinton.

Republicans have grown increasingly outraged about Clinton’s exclusive use of a personal email address wired through a private server during her time as the nation’s top diplomat.

The setup allowed classified information to pass through her seemingly unsecured server, intelligence officials allege. However, last week the Justice Department defended Clinton's behavior as within the bounds of what was allowed. 

The server is currently in the hands of the FBI — which sits within the Justice Department — where it is presumably being searched to determine if the tens of thousands of supposedly personal emails that Clinton deleted can be recovered.

In addition to Cornyn’s demands, the heads of the Senate Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees have pushed to interview the former State Department official who set up Clinton’s server. That man, Bryan Pagliano, has evoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination before the House committee investigating the 2012 attack on Benghazi, Libya.