Jordan Renews Call for Second Independent Counsel in Russia Investigation
Ohio Republican tells 'The Laura Ingraham Show' that recent revelations only strengthen case to probe the probers
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) renewed his call Wednesday for appointment of a second independent counsel to investigate possible abuses by law enforcement investigators during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Jordan, a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that the case for the appointment has only grown stronger in recent weeks with new revelations.
Among those are an email that outgoing national security adviser Susan Rice sent to herself on President Donald Trump’s inauguration day, claiming to document a meeting earlier that month in which President Barack Obama discussed the probe of possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian government and business interests.
That adds context to previously released text messages between two romantically linked FBI officials involved in the investigation, indicating that Obama wanted to know everything the agency was doing, Jordan said.
“That’s interesting stuff and why we need to investigate this issue as thoroughly as we can,” he said. “And that’s why we’ve called for a second special counsel.”
“There’s just no other remedy. You have to go with a second special counsel.”
Republicans increasingly believe that the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) overstepped their authority in obtaining a warrant to monitor Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. Lawyers at DOJ reportedly based their surveillance application almost entirely on an unverified opposition research document paid for by 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee she controlled.
Jordan said he generally does not like independent counsels but sees no other choice in this case. He said DOJ cannot credibly investigate itself, and it is beyond the scope of independent counsel Robert Mueller’s mandate.
“There’s just no other remedy,” he said. “You have to go with a second special counsel.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have raised questions about Rice’s email to herself documenting the meeting in which she claimed Obama instructed investigators to handle the probe “by the book.”
The email was “ridiculous,” Jordan said. “Well, you should be doing everything by the book.”
Jordan reminded listeners of Rice’s history as the Obama administration official who insisted — falsely — that a spontaneous protest over an obscure internet movie led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012.
In fact, officials knew within hours of the attack’s beginning that it was a coordinated terrorist attack. Neither Rice nor any other Obama appointee involved in the Benghazi scandal have ever apologized for lying to the American public.
“I literally started laughing,” he said. “I mean, no one believes this is anything but, you know, covering her backside and trying to protect the administration from the ridiculous things they did.”
Noting a Politico/Morning Consult poll on Wednesday that showed Republicans with a lead of 1 percentage point in the “generic” congressional ballot, Jordan said the GOP’s midterm electoral prospects look better that they have in a year. He credited the turnaround to Trump’s successful first year in office.
But Jordan warned that the party faces danger after a budget deal last week that conservatives deplored. That makes the current immigration debate even more important, he said. Conservative voters will be dispirited if they see Republicans grant amnesty to illegal immigrants without the tough reforms that Trump has demanded.
“But you’re exactly right. If we screw up this immigration issue and do something that’s not consistent with the mandate of 2016 on top of what just happened with that crazy spending bill last week, we will have some concerns at election time,” he said. “And it’s not just about Republican politics. It’s about what’s best for the country.”