A senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee is calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to resign from the Department of Justice’s Russia investigation.
Citing a FoxNews.com report stating that Mueller enjoyed “a lengthy, close” relationship with former FBI Director (and longtime ally) James Comey, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., claims Mueller has failed to disqualify himself from serving as special counsel, as requiredby law due to the conflict of interest.
Mueller preceded Comey as FBI director from 2001-2013, and they knew each other when Comey was working as deputy attorney general for the George W. Bush administration in 2003. During Comey’s 2007 testimony before Congress, Comey described how Mueller was his confidante when Comey opposed the Bush administration’s plan to renew a controversial surveillance program, Fox News reported.
Mueller was a confidante of Comey during the initial incident, backing him up and reportedly offering to resign alongside him should the need arise. After Comey’s testimony in 2007, Mueller’s notes were subpoenaed by Congress as a way of verifying the account (which Bush and then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez offer a differing version of).
"I hung up, called Director Mueller, with whom I'd been discussing this particular matter and had been a great help to me over that week -- and told him what was happening," Comey testified. "He said, 'I'll meet you at the hospital right now.'"
According to Fox News, Mueller once called Comey “one of the finest people I’ve ever met.”
“Bob Mueller is in clear violation of federal code and must resign to maintain the integrity of the investigation into alleged Russian ties. Those who worked under them have attested he and Jim Comey possess a close friendship, and they have delivered on-the-record statements effusing praise of one another,” Rep. Franks stated Tuesday, via press release.
“No one knows Mr. Mueller’s true intentions, but neither can anyone dispute that he now clearly appears to be a partisan arbiter of justice. Accordingly, the law is also explicitly clear: he must step down based on this conflict of interest.”
Mueller’s investigation into President Trump is highly politicized, as the investigating team is allegedly chock full of Hillary Clinton supporters seeking to impeach Trump.
“Until Mueller resigns, he will be in clear violation of the law, a reality that fundamentally undermines his role as Special Counsel and attending ability to execute the law," Rep. Franks stated.