Attorney General Jeff Sessions may have declined calls to appoint a second special counsel to probe the FBI’s behavior during the 2016 campaign, but the man he has picked to lead an internal Justice Department review is a special counsel in every way but name.

John W. Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, can convene a grand jury, issue subpoenas, collect evidence and order witnesses to testify — all the usual powers a federal prosecutor has — as he delves into whether the FBI abused its powers when it sought permission then carried out wiretapping of a Trump campaign figure, or whether it trod too lightly in pursuing questions about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Sessions said the facts of the FBI situation don’t yet rise to the level of demanding a special counsel, but Mr. Huber is as close as can be.

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