Republican lawmakers are once again calling on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to step down.
Ever since Mueller was appointed as special prosecutor in the investigation into allegations that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election, members of the GOP have expressed concerns about his close relationship to former FBI Director James Comey. “The federal code could not be clearer – Mueller is compromised by his apparent conflict of interest in being close with James Comey,” Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) said in an interview with Fox News on Friday. All of the revelations in recent weeks make the case stronger.”
Republican critics of Mueller have renewed their calls for his resignation because of information that surfaced this week that caused many to question the actions of the FBI — and Mueller’s impartiality in conducting his investigation.
The anti-Trump dossier, which was compiled by former MI6 spy Christopher Steele, was funded by the Democratic National Committee, as well as Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The FBI — which was being run by Robert Mueller at the time — received the content of the dossier and allegedly used it to obtain a warrant to conduct surveillance on former Trump advisor Carter Page. Additionally, the Bureau offered to pay Steele’s firm to gather intelligence on the relationship between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
On top of the revelation about the dossier, the authorities are also looking into a deal that enabled Rosatom, a Russia-owned energy company, to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian firm. This deal enabled the Kremlin to obtain 20% of the United States’ uranium reserves. The FBI had evidence showing that Uranium One was involved in illicit activities, including extortion and bribery. The deal should never have been approved by the government if the FBI possessed this evidence. Interestingly enough, Clinton was on the inter-agency panel that approved Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One.
Mueller’s relationship with former FBI Director James Comey has also raised eyebrows. While both Comey and Mueller deny that they have a close relationship, GOP lawmakers aren’t buying it. The fact that the two worked together for a number of years is concerning to Mueller’s critics, given the fact that Comey was previously conducting the Russia probe when he was fired by President Trump.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie — a former federal prosecutor — stated that Mueller should consider resigning.
Outgoing New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor and Trump ally, also suggested Friday that Mueller consider stepping aside. “If the facts that you just laid out are true, then somebody with Bob Mueller’s integrity will step aside and should — if in fact those facts, as you laid them out, are true,” he said.
Members of the GOP have also been concerned about Mueller’s team, which is made up largely of Democrats who have donated large sums of money to Democrat politicians. The makeup of Mueller’s staff have caused some to question whether or not the investigation is nothing more than a witch hunt.
The special prosecutor filed charges with a grand jury on Friday. The nature, and target of the indictments are not yet known. However, it is not likely that these charges will distract the American public from concerns about Mueller’s impartiality.