Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) revealed in a recent interview that he suspects that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team can’t be trusted.
In an interview with Fox News, Congressman Chaffetz voiced his concerns over Mueller stacking his team with Democrat-allied members and the fact that no one is holding him accountable for it. In his mind, the Department of Justice “has no oversight” and can do whatever it wants without consequence. (via Fox News)
Mueller has organized a team to investigate the alleged “relationship” between Trump’s administration and the Russians after former FBI Director James Comey was fired by Trump in May. The team and Mueller himself have been criticized by Republicans for having a predisposed bias against Trump. Many on the team have a history of supporting only Democrats, including Hillary Clinton in the recent election.
Rep. Chaffetz is among those concerned about the bias and feels that Mueller’s team has dangerous potential for corruption and collusion with the “deep state” working against Trump. He asserts that Congress needs to act as a watchdog and monitor Mueller as he investigates the Democrats’ allegations against Trump. “Just because you are a special counsel doesn’t mean you go unimpeded,” he said. “There needs to be someone looking over the shoulder of the special prosecutor as well.”
The “inherent problem” according to Chaffetz is that Congress is currently restricted in its ability to watch over special investigators like Mueller because, “when Congress wants to issue a subpoena, guess where they have to go to get that subpoena? The Department of Justice.” Of course, the DOJ appointed Mueller in charge of this investigation in the first place.
He urged lawmakers to devise a “mechanism” that allows Congress and the judicial branch to work together in order to hold them accountable and make them comply with subpoenas. Chaffetz mentioned that similar problems occurred due to lack of oversight: “It happened in the IRS [Tea Party Scandal],” and “it happened in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
When asked about whether the entire investigation was a distraction, Chaffetz said he felt that it was a “distraction in the media,” but not for voters and policy makers. “We have actually pushed through more pieces of legislation in the House at a record pace on very important things. We have great legislation signed into law on the Veteran’s Administration.” However, he did acknowledge that repealing and replacing Obamacare and tax reform, while already taken care of in the House, has been sidelined by the Mueller investigation into Trump.
His words about media distraction echo a similar argument raised by Ted Cruz’s interview on Fox and Friends. Cruz bashed the media for utilizing “Russiagate” as an excuse to attack Trump while ignoring the real issues, saying, “People outside of Washington are interested in real policies that are going to produce jobs, raise wages […] They’re not interested in the nonsense, in the attack game and the personal destruction that consumes Washington.”
Regardless of the outcome of controversial investigations, it is becoming obvious that the Justice Department needs a form of oversight from Congress. Otherwise, the rise of corruption and the expansion of Obama’s “deep state” could cripple American politics and advance a destructive liberal agenda.