Calls for a special counsel to pursue a possible Russia investigation are dead wrong on the law, as are calls for Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to advise President Trump on selecting a new FBI director. This is politics at its most cynical.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) leads investigations, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI conducts the investigation under the supervision of either U.S. attorneys’ offices or Main Justice. Supervising the FBI is a central part of any attorney general’s job. And special counsels are never independent of DOJ, because independent counsels (which are different from special counsels) are unconstitutional, which is why the law that formerly authorized them has not existed for almost 20 years.
The deputy attorney general is supervising any possible FBI investigation into Russia.