Sessions names prosecutor investigating claims of FBI misconduct

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In the letter, Sessions said he wanted U.S. Attorney John Huber to review a variety of issues, including whether the Federal Bureau of Investigation made missteps when it sought a warrant to conduct surveillance on a former adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

But Mr Sessions, in a letter to three congressional Republicans, said the allegations did not warrant the appointment of a special counsel, noting that the matter was already being investigated.

Huber's review covers a wide range of issues that Republicans have complained about since a year ago, from how the FBI handled investigations related to Hillary Clinton, to claims that the FBI made missteps when it sought a warrant to conduct surveillance on a former adviser to Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, chairman of the crime and terrorism subcommittee, both issued statements welcoming the inspector general's review, although Graham added, "I still believe we need a second special counsel to ensure the investigation is thorough and complete".

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has responded to Republican committee chairs who have been calling for investigations into potential FBI abuses.

Sessions' letter Thursday appeared to rebut the congressional Republicans' claims that the Inspector General did not have the tools necessary to investigate their concerns. Huber's review is ongoing, and Sessions said he gets regular updates.

Democrats say the allegations are an effort to distract from and undermine the separate work of special counsel Robert Mueller as his team's Russian Federation investigation intensifies.

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Huber is a veteran prosecutor who has been confirmed twice by the Senate as USA attorney for Utah - once in 2015 after he was nominated by President Obama, and again in 2017 after he was nominated by President Trump. But in his letter to lawmakers, Sessions reminded that the inspector general's office can and often does refer matters for prosecution. Sessions, though, had not revealed the name of that person, and his public comments have done little to quiet the cries for a second special counsel.

President Trump had demanded last month that Mr. Sessions turn to Justice Department lawyers, not the inspector general, to investigate accusations of surveillance abuse.

Huber was unanimously confirmed twice by the Senate in 2015 and 2017 to be the US Attorney for the District of Utah. Huber will have the authority to recommend the appointment of a new special counsel to prosecute criminal matters if he sees them arise.

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