Darrell Issa says Russia investigations need a special prosecutor, not Jeff Sessions

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the former chairman of the Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform who is best known for launching endless investigations of former President Barack Obama's administration and the 2012 Benghazi attacks, now wants to investigate President Donald Trump.

In an interview on Real Time with Bill Maher Friday, Issa called for a special prosecutor to investigate Trump's ties with Russia, saying Congress could not responsibly leave the task to Trump's recently appointed attorney general, Jeff Sessions.

After Issa initially said House and Senate intelligence committees should investigate "within the special areas they oversee," Maher said there should be an "independent prosecutor" and "Sessions should recuse himself."

Issa seemed amendable to the idea, saying Russian activities needed to be investigated to determine the extent to which Russia is interfering with U.S. interests.

"You cannot have somebody, a friend of mine Jeff Sessions, who was on the [Trump] campaign and who is an appointee," Issa said. "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."

As Politico noted, though Issa supported Trump throughout the Nov. 8 presidential election, Issa eventually "prevailed by less than a percentage point, and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton beat Trump in the district by a wide margin."

However, some of Issa's colleagues have been less amenable to the idea of investigating Trump's administration — his successor to the Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform chairmanship, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah). Chaffetz wants to investigate who is leaking info about ties between Trump and Russia to the media instead.