Months after the public release of the Mueller Report, former special counsel Robert Mueller finally agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on July 17. Although Mueller’s testimony before Congress has been routinely called for by Democrats, President Donald Trump’s Republican allies in the House appear just as eager for Mueller’s testimony as it will provide them with an opportunity to discredit the former FBI director in front of the American public.
Texas GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert, who sits on both the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, was particularly enthused about the prospect of discrediting Mueller, telling Politico that Mueller has “done some irreparable damage to some things and he’s got to answer for them.” Gohmert also said that Mueller’s report only fortified his antipathy for the former special counsel. “It reinforced the anal opening that I believe Mueller to be,” Gohmert said.
This line instantly raised caught attention.
Trump’s other congressional allies–such as Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.)–are similarly eager to press Mueller on topics such as the Steele Dossier, allegations of unlawful spying, and his prosecutorial team’s political biases.
The “Steele Dossier,” a compilation of raw intelligence put together by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele in 2016, is mentioned more than 15 times in the Mueller report released to the public. It will surely be a focal point of questions from Republicans. Many have publicly stated their belief that Steele was fed false information from the Russian government and the resulting report represents the real “foreign collusion” in the 2016 election.
“The obvious question is the one that everyone in the country wants to know: when did you first know there was no conspiracy, coordination or collusion?” Jordan said, providing a preview of his forthcoming line of questioning. “How much longer did it take Bob Mueller to figure that out? Did he intentionally wait until after 2018 midterms, or what?”
Jordan also said he intended to ask how Mueller handled the situation with Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who was removed from Mueller’s investigatory team after it was revealed that he had sent anti-Trump text messages to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. A 2018 Inspector General’s report concluded that, while the messages were improper, Strzok did not act on his apparent political bias in his work as an FBI agent.
[image via YouTube screengrab]
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