WASHINGTON – As the Senate Intelligence Committee probes Russia’s attempts to influence the last U.S. election, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press” on Sunday that he felt they would be getting “way, way getting ahead of ourselves” to say a special prosecutor was necessary.
“There’s no allegations of any crime occurring,” said Cotton, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “There’s not even an indication that there’s criminal investigations underway by the FBI as opposed to counter-intelligence investigations.”
“If we get down that road, that’s a decision that Attorney General Sessions can make at the time,” Cotton added.
Cotton previously called for a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS while running for election against former Sen. Mark Pryor in 2014.
Democrats, meanwhile, have called for Sessions to recuse himself from inquiries involving Russia because he was one of the president’s most visible political supporters and campaigners — and is now a political appointee.
Cotton’s view, which echoes the White House’s assessment, puts him at odds with prominent Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, who said Friday that he was open to a special prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the election.
“You’re right that you cannot have somebody, a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions who was on the campaign and who is an appointee,” Issa, a Trump supporter, told HBO’s Bill Maher. “You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.”
On Feb. 17th, before Congress left for a brief recess, FBI Director James Comey met with senators for a closed-door meeting. Cotton acknowledged on “Meet the Press” that this meeting was about issues related to Russia.
“We had a long, hours-long hearing on the intelligence committee. It was on these very topics,” Cotton told Todd.
“Every time we meet, I call it a…