- Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas got heated Wednesday while questioning the former special counsel Robert Mueller.
- As Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee, Gohmert grilled him on his relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, among other topics.
- Gohmert also said Mueller “perpetuated injustice” over the course of his investigation into Russian election interference, which also examined whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas on Wednesday grilled the former special counsel Robert Mueller as he testified before the House Judiciary Committee, accusing him of perpetuating “injustice.”
After asking for unanimous consent to enter into the record an article he wrote titled “Robert Mueller: Unmasked,” which was published on the Fox News host Sean Hannity’s website, Gohmert went after Mueller on numerous topics.
Echoing talking points from President Donald Trump, the Texas lawmaker took particular issue with the FBI agent Peter Strzok’s role in the Russia investigation. Strzok was removed from the inquiry after it was discovered that he’d sent anti-Trump text messages to Lisa Page, an FBI attorney with whom he was having an extramarital affair.
Trump and his Republican allies have sought to undermine the credibility of Mueller’s investigation by pointing to Strzok’s involvement.
Strzok was fired from the FBI in August of last year.
Gohmert asked whether Mueller knew about Strzok’s feelings toward Trump before Strzok was put on the special counsel’s team. Mueller said he did not.
“When I did find out I acted swiftly to have him reassigned elsewhere in the FBI,” Mueller said in his testimony.
Gohmert, who earlier this month referred to the former special counsel as an “anal opening,” also questioned Mueller on his relationship with former FBI Director James Comey.
Mueller and Comey are friends, which the former special counsel acknowledged in his testimony.
Trump’s firing of Comey led to allegations of obstruction and was among the 11 possible instances of obstruction outlined by Mueller in his report on the investigation.
“Firing Comey would qualify as an obstructive act if it had the natural and probable effect of interfering with or impeding the investigation … substantial evidence indicates that the catalyst for the President’s decision to fire Comey was Comey’s unwillingness to publicly state that the President was not personally under investigation,” Mueller’s report said.
The report added, “The evidence does not establish that the termination of Comey was designed to cover up a conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and Russia.”
Toward the end of Gohmert’s questioning, he launched an impassioned defence of Trump’s repeated attacks on the Russia investigation, which Trump has often referred to as a “witch hunt.”
Gohmert: "If somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to affect the election & they see the big [DOJ] with people that hate that person coming after them…the fact that you ran it out 2 years means you perpetuated injustice."
Mueller: "I take your question." pic.twitter.com/buO4pqQ2bV
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) July 24, 2019
“If somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to affect the election, and they see the big Justice Department with people that hate that person coming after them, and then a special counsel appointed who hires dozen or more people that hate that person, and he knows he’s innocent … What he’s doing is not obstructing justice. He is pursuing justice. And the fact that you ran it out two years means you perpetuated injustice,” Gohmert said.
Mueller replied, “I take your question.”
Mueller ultimately determined there was not sufficient evidence to bring conspiracy charges against Trump and his associates in relation to Russian election interference.
But Mueller did not exonerate Trump on the issue of obstruction – a fact he reiterated during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.
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