With Mueller now focusing on the president, lawmakers level new charges of bias and even potential criminal misconduct.
Amid new signs that special counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump, Republicans in Congress have intensified their own investigations of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s handling of inquiries into Trump’s ties to Russia.
Tuesday brought several dramatic developments in the Russia saga, including the news that Mueller recently interviewed Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the first Cabinet official known to be questioned in the investigation. The New York Times also reported that former FBI Director James Comey was interviewed by Mueller last year.
But even as Mueller showed apparent momentum, Republicans made new charges of political bias and even potential criminal misconduct in the nation’s top law enforcement agencies.
On Fox News, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House committee that oversees the Justice Department and FBI, alleged an anti-Trump “conspiracy” by FBI agents whose text message exchanges have been made public in selective bursts by GOP lawmakers.
“Some of these texts are very disturbing,” Goodlatte said, adding, “They illustrate a conspiracy on the part of some people, and we want to know a lot more about that.”
Republicans have been particularly incensed by a new revelation from the FBI that five months of text messages between a senior counterintelligence agent in the bureau, Peter Strzok — who was dismissed from Mueller’s team for unspecified reasons in July — and FBI attorney Lisa Page appear to be missing. The bureau revealed to Congress over the weekend that it hadn’t retained the messages, which officials attributed to technical problems with the bureau’s storage system.
Meanwhile, congressional Republicans pushing to release a secret memo they have drafted based on classified intelligence — which they claim reveals anti-Trump bias in the FBI — got a boost on Tuesday from the White House, which called for “full transparency” on the issue.
Separately, a GOP lawmaker on the House Judiciary Committee indicated that there were plans to recall Comey to testify about his handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton.
SOURCE: KYLE CHENEY