POLITICS
02/25/2017 12:52 am ET

Rep. Darrell Issa Suggests Trump-Russia Inquiry Needs Special Prosecutor, Not Jeff Sessions

"You cannot have somebody who was on the campaign and who is an appointee," the GOP congressman says.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on "Real Time With Bill Maher,"  “You’re going to need to use the special
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said on "Real Time With Bill Maher,"  “You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said during an interview on “Real Time With Bill Maher” on Friday night that the investigation into Russia’s ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the U.S. election hacking needs a special prosecutor ― not Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The conservative congressman, who supported Trump during his 2016 campaign, also seemed to agree with host Bill Maher that Sessions should recuse himself from the investigation.

Maher posed a question to Issa about the FBI’s investigation Trump-Russia by flipping the controversy on its head.

Maher asked Issa if, in 2012, he “would let it slide” had Russians hacked Mitt Romney’s campaign and been in talks with former President Barack Obama’s campaign.

“No,” Issa said quickly. When asked if he’d let it slide in Trump’s administration, Issa said again, just as quickly: “No.”

“We need an independent prosecutor,” Maher said later. “And Jeff Sessions should recuse himself, the same way Loretta Lynch recused herself, because he was a part of the Trump campaign, is that correct?” Maher asked, referring to former Attorney General Lynch and Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.

That’s when Issa appeared to make his response more clear.

“You’re right that you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who was an appointee,” Issa told Maher. “You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.”

Then, Issa doubles down on his statement with a critical take on Russia.

“Here’s the reason we’re going to have to do it, Bill,” the congressman said. “There may or may not be fault, but the American people are beginning to understand that Putin murders his enemies sometimes right in front of the Kremlin ... he’s murdered people and taken down using cyber warfare in Georgia and Ukraine.

“This is a bad guy who murders people. Who runs a gas station with an economy the size of Italy but is screwing up things all over the world, that we’ve been, quote, ‘working with.’

“Now, we have to work with them. We don’t have to trust them. And we need to investigate their activities, and we need to do it because they are bad people.”

See Issa’s conversation with Maher below.

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