The former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller defended his investigations into corruption of the 2016 elections in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has announced he will call on Mueller to testify to the panel about his investigation, something Democrats have been wanting.
The Republican senator was referring to Mueller’s op-ed in The Washington Post, where he defended the Russian probe and condemned the president for commuting Roger Stone’s conviction on July 10 for lying to Congress during the probe. Stone has protested his innocence.
“Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing—and also capable—of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post,” Graham posted on Twitter on July 12.
He continued, “Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested that Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation. That request will be granted,” as reported by the Washington Examiner.
Senator Graham has a list of 53 prominent people who could face subpoenas to testify over the Russian probe. “I think we need to look long and hard at how the Mueller investigation got off the rails,” Graham said in an argument for the subpoenas.
Former President Barack Obama is not included in the list. In May, President Trump applied pressure on Graham to have Obama testify before Congress.
Trump had tweeted earlier that “If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING.”
Trump tagged Graham in the tweet: “Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”
“I think it’d be a bad precedent to compel a former president to come before the Congress,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill.
“That would open up a can of worms, and for a variety of reasons, I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Graham said.
Mueller wrote in the Post that Stone had committed crimes in relation to emails and messages he had obtained from WikiLeaks.
“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” Mueller wrote.
“One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016.
“Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers.”
It’s the first time Mueller has publicly commented on the case.
The White House commented harshly on the Mueller investigation after Stone’s sentence was commuted.
“Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election.
“The collusion delusion spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist,” the White House said.
“As it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface,” said the White House, reports the Washington Examiner.
“We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false,” Mueller wrote in the op-ed.