On Friday night, while being interviewed on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa called for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
During the interview, Maher questioned Issa, who used to be head of the House Oversight Committee, about how he would have responded if the situation had been reversed in the 2012 presidential race and Democrats were suspected of having inappropriate ties to Russia.
‘Say the Russians hacked only Mitt Romney and there was a lot of contact between the Obama administration and Russia. You going to let that slide?’
Issa responded by telling Maher that he would not have let that slide. He then added, “We’re going to ask the intelligence committees of the House and Senate to investigate within the special areas they oversee.”
Maher then pressed Issa further, asking whether or not he favors recusal for Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the investigation into Russia’s interference, which allegedly was intended to help Donald Trump win the election.
‘We need an independent prosecutor. And Jeff Sessions should recuse himself, the same way Loretta Lynch recused herself, because he was a part of the Trump campaign, is that correct?’
Issa responded by saying that, unlike many of his Republican colleagues, he is in favor of using a special prosecutor.
‘You’re right that you cannot have somebody — a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions — who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.’
Issa then switched gears slightly and began to criticize Russian president Vladimir Putin, calling him, among other things, a “bad guy who murders people.”
‘This is a bad guy who murders people. Who runs a gas station with an economy the size of Italy but is screwing up things all over the world, that we’ve been, quote, “working with.”
‘We have to work with [the Russians]; we don’t have to trust them. We need to investigate their activities and we need to do it because they are bad people.’
Issa’s comments were vastly different from President Trump’s calls for the U.S. to “get along” with Russia. At a recent White House press conference, Trump told reporters:
‘If we could get along with Russia, that’s a positive thing.
‘You’ve had a lot of presidents that haven’t taken that tack. Look where we are.’
Watch the discussion between Maher and Issa below, via YouTube.