There have been sporadic calls for a second special counsel in Washington. This one would investigate how the Trump dossier and other intelligence was misused to build a case for Robert Mueller’s fishing expedition.
Part of the equation is going to be what Devin Nunes has in “the memo.” If there is serious evidence of impropriety…like laundering the Trump dossier to be used as evidence to obtain a FISA warrant…the call will gain volume. And by the fact that Adam Schiff hasn’t leaked what is in the memo we can infer the stuff looks unhelpful to the #Resistance.
The revelation Friday that the FBI had managed to delete five months worth of critical text messages might very well have been the last straw. A little earlier today, three House committee chairmen, Bob Goodlatte (Judiciary), Trey Gowdy (Oversight) and Devin Nunes (Intelligence) released a joint statement:
Statement from Nunes, Goodlatte and Gowdy (chairs of House Intel, Judiciary, and Oversight Committees) on Strzok texts. pic.twitter.com/TyimH6YxgW
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) January 22, 2018
This is not a casual act. These three chairmen would spearhead any House investigation of the FBI and Intelligence Community’s actions during the election.
For such a counsel to be appointed, Attorney General Jeff Sessions would have to agree and so, too, to a certain extent would FBI Director Christopher Wray. While there are institutional reasons for them to resist, there are also institutional reasons for them to cooperate. Justice and the FBI have already burned a lot of bridges in the House. The fact that Rosenstein tried an end run on Nunes indicates just how tenuous the relationship is. This statement hints that if a special counsel is not appointed the FBI and Intelligence Community might just get the Mother of all Proctological Exams by a House investigation. Or, if Ron Johnson is angry enough, a joint House-Senate investigation.
This is not pleasant for any agency. The Church Committee did this to the CIA, FBI, IRS, and other agencies in 1975-76 because of allegations, among other things, that they were meddling in domestic politics.
In short, no matter how unpalatable a special counsel is one would be much more pleasant than having Devin Nunes or Trey Gowdy digging through your stuff.