Republican lawmakers doubled down on attacks against Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday, after new details emerged about anti-Trump text messages sent by an FBI agent who worked on the Russia investigation.
In a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing, Republicans called on Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the special counsel, to assess whether the potential conflicts might wrongfully impact Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign colluded with Russia.
The texts, sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page last year, referred to Trump as an “utter idiot” and a “loathsome human,” according to the committee’s chairman, Republican Bob Goodlatte.
The texts showed “extreme bias against President Trump, a fact that would be bad enough if it weren’t for the fact that these two individuals were employed as part of the Mueller ‘dream team’ investigating the very person for whom they were showing disdain,” Goodlatte said.
Strzok was part of Mueller’s team which is investigating whether Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election last year and colluded with Trump’s campaign. Moscow denies the allegations and Trump says there was no collusion.
Mueller removed Strzok from the probe when the texts came to light by the department’s inspector general, and he has been reassigned to another division.
Rosenstein, testifying to the committee, said he was not aware of any impropriety by Mueller’s office and there was no good cause to fire the special counsel.
Democrats downplayed the texts and other complaints, saying there was no evidence of bias.
“Peter Strzok did not say anything about Donald Trump that the majority of Americans weren’t also thinking at the same time,” said the committee’s top Democrat, Jerrold Nadler.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Alistair Bell)
Democrats’ refusal to impeach Trump is a ‘bigger national scandal’ than him breaking the law: Ocasio-Cortez
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., criticized House Democrats on Saturday for their unwillingness to impeach President Donald Trump despite new revelations that he may have pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on one of his potential Democratic rivals in 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden.
This article first appeared in Salon.
"At this point, the bigger national scandal isn’t the president’s lawbreaking behavior - it is the Democratic Party’s refusal to impeach him for it," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday night.
Mnuchin admits White House has transcript of Ukraine call and ‘they’re going to be kept confidential’
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed on Sunday that the White House does have a transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Mnuchin if he had an objection to Congress' request to see a transcript in which Trump allegedly asks Zelensky to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
While confirming that a transcript of the call exists, Mnuchin said that House Democrats have no right to see it.
"What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders," he told Todd. "I think that those are confidential discussions and that’s a difficult precedent."
‘Should we talk about Ivanka?’: MSNBC guest calls for Trump family investigation if Biden’s son is scrutinized
During a panel discussion on Donald Trump's call for an investigation of Joe Biden's son Hunter over his Ukraine dealings, an "AM Joy" guest said if Congress is going to investigate politician's kids why not start with Ivanka Trump and her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.
Speaking with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan called out President Donald Trump for his "brazenness" going after the former vice president's son.
"There's so much to say about this story, as for the Ukrainian denials, what are they going to do, come out and say, 'Yes, Donald Trump did pressure our president eight times in a single phone call'? It's absurd." Hasan began.