Facing increasing pressure from voters, Republicans are beginning to call for an independent investigation into Donald Trump’s ties with the Kremlin and Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential elections to help him defeat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
In the latest sign that the wall protecting Trump from impeachment is already crumbling, Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican congressman who aligned with President Donald Trump during the campaign, called Friday for a special prosecutor to oversee the investigation into Trump associates’ contacts with Russian operatives, according to Politico.
Appearing on HBO’s “Real Time”, Issa said that Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Trump appointed as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, should not be in charge of the investigation, Politico reports.
“You cannot have somebody, a friend of mine Jeff Sessions, who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,” the California Republican said in response to a question from host Bill Maher.
“You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office to take — not just to recuse. You can’t just give it to your deputy. That’s another political appointee,” he said.
Issa noted that “there may or may not be fault” with Trump’s associates but said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s brutality toward political enemies highlighted the need for such a probe.
Issa was reelected to congress by less than a percentage point. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump in his district by a wide margin. That result immediately left Issa as a top Democratic target for 2018.
Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham are also calling for an independent investigation.