Trey Gowdy demands Sessions act on illegal surveillance accusations – here’s how

Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to name a second special counsel to investigate the alleged FISA abuses that resulted in Carter Page being surveilled by the government. (Image Source: YouTube screenshot composite)

Carlos Garcia

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) joined Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) in a letter to demand from Attorney General Jeff Sessions that an independent counsel be appointed in order to pursue the accusations of improper use of government surveillance in 2016.

Here’s what they said:

Gowdy and Goodlatte appeared on Fox News Tuesday to explain why they believed it was time for a special counsel to investigate the charges of FISA abuses.

While the inspector general of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, is already investigating the allegations, Gowdy points out that he doesn’t have the powers that an independent counsel would have.

“There are two dozen witnesses that Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, would not have access to so your options are DOJ investigating themselves, they can’t do that because of conflict of interest,” Gowdy explained. “Let the inspector general do it, now I’m a big fan of Mike Horowitz, but he has no jurisdiction over witnesses that have either left the department or never worked there.”

“So when I counted up 24 witnesses that he would not be able to access were he to investigate it, you only have one conclusion, that’s special counsel,” he concluded.

“There is evidence of bias, trending towards animus,” their letter read, “among those charged with investigating serious cases. There is evidence political opposition research was used in court filings.”

“There is evidence this political research was neither vetted before it was used nor fully revealed to the relevant tribunal,” they continued.

Gowdy and Goodlatte also opined that since the FISA warrant was granted with respect to surveillance on Carter Page that it was likely that other members of the Trump campaign were incidentally surveilled.

Allies of the president have accused the Obama administration of encouraging and seeking illegal FISA warrants in order to surveil the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Former national security advisor Susan Rice admitted to “unmasking” several Trump officials from capture surveillance, but said that this was done in the normal course of her intelligence office.

Others, like Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) have said that if Sessions will not appoint a second special counsel to investigate the charges, he should step down from his office.