A prominent House Republican has retracted his call for a special prosecutor to oversee any investigation into ties between former Donald Trump advisers and the Russian government.
California Rep. Darrell Issa on Friday had called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, an early Trump supporter, to recuse himself from the federal probe and to appoint a special prosecutor.
But Issa, who also backed Trump prior to the election, backed off of that demand on Monday, saying that a special prosecutor would not be warranted since there has not yet been an allegation of criminal activity.
“I certainly could see where if there is an allegation of a crime at some point, the call for a special prosecutor makes sense,” Issa told CBS News. “I think it’s very important to realize there’s been no allegation by any part of this administration or by anyone who’s been to the hearings about any crimes.”
“So one of the challenges we have is a special prosecutor exists when you have an individual under suspicion. Currently we don’t have that,” he added.
Issa became the first Republican to call for a Sessions recusal during an interview Friday with HBO’s 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,” Issa told Maher. (RELATED: Darrell Issa Calls For Special Prosecutor In Trump-Russia Probe)
Numerous Democrats have called for Sessions to recuse himself from the reported investigation into Trump advisers’ ties to the Russian government. According to The New York Times, the FBI is investigating those links, though federal intelligence officials told the newspaper that they have not seen any evidence of wrongdoing.
Prior to Issa’s retraction, White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about the Republican’s remarks during the daily press briefing.
“I guess my question would be a special prosecutor for what?” said Spicer.
Also on Monday, California Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, asserted that “there’s nothing there” regarding allegations of Trumpworld ties to the Russian government.