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Sessions spurns GOP request for second special counsel

Sessions spurns GOP request for second special counsel

Sessions said he directed US attorney John Huber of Utah to lead the investigation into Republicans' allegations that the FBI and Department of Justice abused a surveillance program against a former Trump campaign aide and determine whether a second counsel may be required in the future.

The attorney general asked U.S. Attorney John Huber to investigate Republicans' allegations that the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation abused a surveillance program against a former Trump campaign aide. Once Huber concludes his review, he will provide recommendations about new areas of possible investigation as well as whether new resources are required and "whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel", Sessions said.

Since then, Huber has taken on a leadership role on Sessions' advisory committee of U.S. attorneys that provide counsel to him and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

But, in a four-page letter sent to lawmakers Thursday, Sessions said a special counsel is reserved for extraordinary circumstances, and argues that the GOP allegations do not rise to that level. He identified John W. Huber, the United States attorney in Utah, as the prosecutor leading that investigation and stressed that he welcomed lawmakers' scrutiny. That inspector general's report has not been released but is expected out soon.

Huber, U.S. attorney for Utah, was appointed by former President Barack Obama and offered his resignation in March 2017 at the request of the Trump administration.

Newly-appointed Hurriyat chief Ashraf Sehrai's son joins Hizbul Mujahideen
A senior police officer said there are rumors of Junaid having joined militancy but he will not confirm them. The written message on the picture suggests that the Junaid has joined Hizb- ul-Mujahideen militant outfit.

Under Obama, then-Attorney General Eric Holder tapped two U.S. attorneys - including Rosenstein when he served in the role in Maryland - to lead high-profile leak investigations, and Comey, when he was deputy attorney general, appointed then-U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as a special counsel to look into who revealed the identity of a covert Central Intelligence Agency officer.

Horowitz will be wading into a political minefield, as the warrant to surveil Page and the former British intelligence officer who provided information to aid that effort have become significant friction points in the partisan squabbling over Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian Federation to influence the 2016 election. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at least, said it did not preclude the need for a special counsel to "ensure the investigation is thorough and complete". In March 2017, shortly after he took charge of the Justice Department, Sessions asked for the resignations of 46 USA attorneys who were previous administration holdovers. Republicans are also likely to be upset with what amounts to the Justice Department investigating itself.

After Sessions indicated last month that Horowitz would conduct a review, Trump reacted angrily on Twitter, writing "Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse".

Updates with Gowdy and Goodlatte statement in sixth and seventh paragraphs.

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