WASHINGTON ― Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.) on Tuesday called for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s interference in last year’s presidential election.
“It is time for an investigation of Russia’s intervention in the U.S. Election,” Knight said in a statement. “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.”
Knight joins two other California Republicans who have called for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s role in the election ― Rep. Tom McClintock and Rep. Darrell Issa. Issa, however, later seemed to walk back his statement, clarifying that a special prosecutor was needed only if there is an “allegation of a crime.”
“Currently we don’t have that,” Issa, former chair of the House Oversight Committee,
said in February.
Knight and Issa represent districts won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election ― seats national Democrats have targeted to flip in 2018.
Republicans have generally resisted calls for a special prosecutor, arguing an independent authority would impede existing inquiries within the FBI, and in the Senate and House intelligence committees. Democrats, however, have pointed to the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey last week as furher reason an independent or special counsel is needed to investigate the matter.
While Knight and McClintock are the only two House Republicans to call for a special prosecutor so far, a growing number of their GOP colleagues have stepped closer to calling for an “independent” investigation of Russia’s role in the election.
In carefully worded statements, several GOP lawmakers have said that, under the right circumstances, an independent investigation would be appropriate. Also on HuffPost Taking Security Seriously Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) talks with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) before the start of a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing concerning the roles and responsibilities for defending the nation against cyberattacks, on Oct. 19, 2017. With Liberty And Justice... Members of Code Pink for Peace protest before the start of a hearing where U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on Oct. 18, 2017. Committee members questioned Sessions about conversations he had with President Donald Trump about the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, the ongoing investigation about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and other subjects. Whispers Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), right, speaks with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) before a confirmation hearing for Christopher Sharpley, nominee for inspector general of the CIA, on Oct. 17, 2017. Not Throwing Away His Shot Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical "Hamilton," makes his way to a meeting of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies in the Rayburn Office Building during a round of meetings to urge federal funding for the arts and humanities on Sept. 13, 2017. Medicare For All Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), center, speaks on health care as Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), left, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), right, listen during an event to introduce the Medicare for All Act on Sept. 13, 2017. Bernie Bros Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) pack his office on Sept. 8, 2017. Members of the "Draft Bernie for a People's Party" campaign delivered a petition with more than 50,000 signatures to urge the senator to start and lead a new political party. McCain Appearance Sen. John McCain, second from left, leaves the Capitol after his first appearance since being diagnosed with cancer. He arrived to cast a vote to help Republican senators narrowly pass the motion to proceed for the replacement of the Affordable Care Act on July 25, 2017. A Narrow Win Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, center, speaks alongside Sens. John Barrasso, left, John Cornyn, right, and John Thune, rear, after the Senate narrowly passed the motion to proceed for the replacement of the Affordable Care Act on July 25, 2017. Kushner Questioning Jared Kushner, White House senior adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, arrives at the Capitol on July 25, 2017. Kushner was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee in a closed-door meeting about contacts he had with Russia. Hot Dogs On The Hill Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) prepares a hot dog during the American Meat Institute's annual Hot Dog Lunch in the Rayburn Office Building courtyard on July 19, 2017. And Their Veggie Counterparts Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) visits the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals veggie dog giveaway on July 19, 2017, countering a National Hot Dog Day event being held elsewhere on Capitol Hill. Poised For Questions Callista Gingrich, wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, waits for a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on her nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to the Vatican on July 18, 2017. Speaking Up Health care activists protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on July 17, 2017. In The Fray Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks to members of the media after announcing the revised version of the Senate Republican health care bill on Capitol Hill on July 13, 2017. Anticipation Christopher Wray is seated with his daughter Caroline, left, as he prepares to testify at a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be the next FBI director on July 12, 2017. Up In Arms Health care activists protest to stop the Republican health care bill at Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on July 10, 2017. Across A Table Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) meets with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Capitol Hill on June 29, 2017. Somber Day House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) speaks about the recent attack on the Republican congressional baseball team during her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2017. Family Matters Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), right, and his sons, Jack, 10, and Brad, arrive in the basement of the Capitol after a shooting at the Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, on June 14, 2017. A Bipartisan Pause Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), right, coach of the Republican congressional baseball team, tells the story of the shooting that occurred during a baseball practice while he stands alongside Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), left, a coach of the Democratic congressional baseball team on June 14, 2017. Hats On Rep. Chuck Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) reacts about the shooting he was present for at a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, as he speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on June 14, 2017. Public Testimony U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is sworn in to testify before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on June 13, 2017. Comey's Big Day Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill on June 8, 2017. Conveying His Point U.S. Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats testifies at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on his interactions with the Trump White House and on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on June 7, 2017. Selfie Time Vice President Mike Pence takes a selfie with a tourist wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat inside the U.S. Capitol rotunda on June 6, 2017. The vice president walked through the rotunda after attending the Senate Republican policy luncheon. Budget Queries Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney testifies before the House Budget Committee about President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 budget proposal on Capitol Hill on May 24, 2017. Flagged Down By Reporters Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, leaves a closed committee meeting on Capitol Hill on May 24, 2017. The committee is investigating possible Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election. Shock And Awe House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) hold a news conference on the release of the president's fiscal 2018 budget proposal on Capitol Hill on May 23, 2017. Seeing Double Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) arrives in the Capitol for the Senate Democrats' policy lunch on May 16, 2017. Honoring Officers President Donald Trump speaks at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on the West Lawn of the Capitol on May 15, 2017. Whispers Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.), right, and ranking member Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) talk during a hearing with the heads of the U.S. intelligence agencies in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on May 11, 2017. Skeptical Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates arrives to testify before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election on Capitol Hill on May 8, 2017. Differing Opinions Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) gives a thumbs-up to protesters on the East Front of the Capitol after the House passed the Republicans' bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on May 4, 2017. The protesters support the ACA. Real Talk United States Naval Academy Midshipman 2nd Class Shiela Craine (left), a sexual assault survivor, testifies before the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Military Personnel with (2nd from left to right) Ariana Bullard, Stephanie Gross and Annie Kendzior in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on May 2, 2017. Kendzior, a former midshipman, and Gross, a former cadet, were both raped twice during their time at the military academies. The academy superintendents were called to testify following the release of a survey last month by the Pentagon that said 12.2 percent of academy women and 1.7 percent of academy men reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact during the 2015-16 academic year. In Support Of Immigrants Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-N.M.), center, is joined by dozens of Democratic members of the House of Representatives to mark "Immigrant Rights Day" in the Capitol Visitor Center on May 1, 2017 in Washington, D.C. The Democratic legislators called on Republicans and President Donald Trump to join their push for comprehensive immigration reform. Love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today. This article originally appeared on HuffPost.