A GOP member of the House Judiciary Committee questioned the timing of the coming indictments in the Russia probe Saturday, saying that there is concern among Republicans on the Hill that Special Council Robert Mueller has a conflict of interest that dates back to the Uranium One scandal of 2010.
According to multiple news outlets, a federal grand jury in Washington has approved the first charges in the investigation led by Mueller. Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs, appearing on Fox News with host Rick Leventhal, said this latest development could just be “a diversion.”
“There are many of us here that have been saying for months that Mr. Mueller has a conflict of interest and I think he’s tied right back to the Uranium One scandal from 2010,” Biggs explained. “He is the common link — the common thread all the way through this. And we really don’t know what role that Fusion GPS dossier played, which allegedly is just filled with fraud and misstatements.”
He added: “How much of that was relied upon by the FBI to initiate the investigation for which they now have an indictment —which coincidentally seems to be diverting attention from this massive Fusion GPS scandal which really broke big time this week.”
Leventhal asked whether it was possible that the coming indictments could turn out to be unrelated to Russia collusion.
“Absolutely,” Biggs answered. “James Clapper, amongst others, have said there’s no evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and the Russians to try to control the election. In fact, something like $100 thousand in Facebook ads is the sole argument going on here.”
The congressman’s remarks suggested that he and some of his colleagues don’t have much faith that the investigation is being conducted in an honest manner. “We don’t know who is being indicted,” he said. “We know indictments can be given to ham sandwiches for Pete’s sake. We don’t know how real this is. It could potentially be a diversion and that’s what many of us are wondering.”
News of the indictments comes as Mueller faces mounting pressure from Republicans in Congress and in the media to resign from the Russia probe.
“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-Ariz., said in a statement to Fox News on Friday. “The appearance of a conflict is enough to put Mueller in violation of the code…. All of the revelations in recent weeks make the case stronger.”
“If the evidence that led to the investigation itself was faulty, what does that say about the investigation?” Leventhal asked Briggs.
“Well, it says the whole thing is bad, actually, and that’s why I’m real happy Congress is going to be looking into it,” the congressman answered.
House Republicans last week launched new probes into several Obama-era controversies, including the Justice Department’s 2016 handling of the Clinton email case and the administration’s 2010 approval for the sale of a mining company that gave the Russians control over 20 percent of American uranium reserves.
“Now that this evidence regarding Fusion GPS is out and stories are out that that’s what the FBI relied upon in its investigation, I think we really need to get to the bottom of this,” Biggs declared.
The Arizona Republican added that he thought it was interesting that Mueller’s team “would release that they’ve indicted somebody the same week as Fusion GPS — with no names — no names.”