Morning Joe calls out GOP lawmakers 'doing Putin's bidding' by trying to derail the Mueller probe
Joe Scarborough (MSNBC)

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough called out Republican lawmakers for their continued efforts to derail the Russia investigation -- even after last week's detailed indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers involved in election hacking.

The "Morning Joe" host said those efforts to defend President Donald Trump against special counsel Robert Mueller made those GOP lawmakers look complicit in the global conspiracy.

"After that indictment came out with stunning detail, you actually had House Republicans say they were going to move to try to impeach Rod Rosenstein, which say what you will, it makes them look like they're doing Vladimir Putin's bidding," Scarborough said.

"Why in the world would you want to impeach a man that brought forward information on charges that proved to Americans and proved to the world and proved to Vladimir Putin that Russia has tried to interfere in American democracy and is still trying to interfere in American democracy," he added. "That is depressing."

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who attacked FBI agent Peter Strzok last week during a congressional hearing on the Russia investigation, agreed after the indictment was announced that the Kremlin had attacked the U.S. -- but Scarborough called him out as a hypocrite.

"Great job by Trey Gowdy there, (but) here is the problem," Scarborough said. "Just a week or two he was talking about the need to end the Mueller investigation. If we had ended the Mueller investigation when he said the Mueller investigation needed to be ended, then we wouldn't have had this information coming forward now, and this information opens up an entirely new set of questions that must be answered."

The indictment did not name any Americans, but it showed several U.S. nationals were in contact with the Russian intelligence officers who hacked into Democratic organizations and state election systems to interfere in the election.

"After this damming evidence came out, you now have Rudy Giuliani saying, oh, yes, this is terrible, now we know the Russians did this, and this is great information to have -- now let's end the Mueller investigation," Scarborough said. "Of course, you have the president of the United States calling the Mueller investigation a witch hunt."

Scarborough said the investigation had already been productive, and was far from its conclusion.

"We have five guilty pleas already," he said. "We've opened up an entirely new phase of the investigation on Friday and we don't know where it's going to go. More questions are now raised than ever before, and yet you have Rudy Giuliani saying this investigation must end. It's a good thing there are some Republicans that actually have come out and said we need to see where this investigation leads us."