On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) became the first Republican member of Congress to call for a special prosecutor solely to lead the investigation into Russia’s intervention in the 2016 election.
His office released a statement on his official website saying that there is “too much at stake” to not have a special prosecutor take over the existing FBI inquiry.
“It is time for an investigation of Russia’s intervention in the U.S. Election. There is too much at stake at home and abroad to not take this step. There is so much conflicting information from many sources; Americans deserve the opportunity to learn the truth. As stated before, I continue to support any efforts done by the House Intelligence Committee and join many of my colleagues in supporting the assignment of a special prosecutor to take over the ongoing FBI investigation.”
A Knight spokesperson did not get back to ThinkProgress’ questions in time for this post.
While six House Republicans (out of 238) have said they support a special congressional committee or independent investigation, none have come out in support of assigning a special prosecutor to the investigation. Nor have any Republican senators done so.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) said in a statement last week that it would be “advisable” for the Russia inquiry to be taken over by an “independent prosecutor” but also said it was “equally important to appoint an independent prosecutor” for “investigations that were swept under the rug” Hillary Clinton’s emails, the IRS, and Susan Rice.
In March, Knight met raucous jeering at a town hall in Palmdale over Donald Trump and the Republicans’ health care plan. He did earn some cheers when he said that Trump should release his tax returns. However, when presented with a chance to vote to force Trump to release them, he joined 228 of his Republican House colleagues to vote to keep them secret. Knight has also supported Trump’s Muslim ban.
Last year, Knight said he couldn’t support either Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the general election, but afterward admitted that he did vote for Trump.
“Now I have made no bones about it,” he told the College of the Canyons’ online news website. “I have voted for Donald Trump for president, and I have said that many times. When I said something like I wasn’t supporting, it didn’t mean I wasn’t voting for him or I wasn’t, you know, there it just meant I’m running my race and I’ve got to go out and win my race and that’s what is important to make sure we hold the House.”
UPDATE: This post has been updated to include Rep. McClintock’s call for an independent prosecutor for the Russia inquiry as well as several alleged cover-ups from the Obama administration.