The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee said criminal referrals are coming for members of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s team who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“We’re looking at doing criminal referrals on the Mueller team, the Mueller dossier team, the Mueller witch hunt, whatever you want to call it. That’s where we are now in our investigation,” Rep. Devin Nunes told Fox Nation’s Witch Hunt.
“We’re doing a large criminal referral on the Mueller dossier team that put together a fraudulent report — that knew there was no collusion the day that Mueller walked in the door,” the California Republican added. “They set an obstruction of justice trap. There’s no doubt in my mind that we will make a conspiracy referral there.”
Mueller released his 448-page report last April. The investigation found “numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign” but “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” Mueller did not draw a conclusion about whether President Trump obstructed justice, but did lay out 10 instances of possible obstruction in his report.
Nunes has long maintained that Mueller knew from the day he became special counsel in May 2017 that there was no coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. He says the House Intelligence Committee, which conducted its own Russian interference investigation when he was chairman, determined there was no collusion by early 2018. Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee argued that the investigation was wrapped up prematurely, and the current chairman of the panel, Rep. Adam Schiff, has repeatedly insisted there was collusion.
Last year, Nunes made eight criminal referrals alleging several “potential violations” of the law throughout the investigation into Russian interference and said this year there would be follow-ups based on revelations about British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s anti-Trump dossier.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz determined late last year the FBI properly opened its counterintelligence investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, into potential ties between the Kremlin and Trump campaign in the summer of 2016. After FBI Director James Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017, Mueller was appointed to be the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation.
The watchdog also determined that the bureau made “at least 17 significant errors or omissions” in the applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants spanning from October 2016 to the summer of 2017 that targeted former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The FBI used Steele’s dossier to obtain those warrants.
The Justice Department filed on Thursday to dismiss charges against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who cooperated with Mueller investigators after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with a Russian diplomat.
In moving to drop the charges last week, the Justice Department said that after reviewing newly disclosed materials, it agreed with Flynn’s attorneys that his interview with the FBI should never have taken place because his conversations with the Russian ambassador were “entirely appropriate.”
Nunes called for the lead Justice Department lawyer in the Flynn case to be investigated.
“That attorney had to know those documents existed, had to know they were working with a falsified 302 — that’s a very simple criminal referral,” he said, in reference to alleged suppression of exculpatory evidence.
The congressman also said he will ask the Justice Department to investigate possible obstruction of justice of the congressional inquiry into the Russia investigation.
“I want to see all of them held accountable for this,” he added.