All eyes were on Robert Mueller as congress pressed him over his investigation into possible Russia collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R), a long-time critic of the Mueller investigation, was one of the lawmakers who questioned Mueller.
In addition, Gaetz has previously raised concerns over the bias that some members of Robert Mueller’s investigative team might’ve had against the President, referring to extensive statements from Pete Strzok and someone known as “FBI Attorney #2” who both served on the Special Counsel’s team.
Ultimately, both were removed for bias after Michael Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector General, referred messages from the two to DOJ and FBI leadership.
In the exchange between Rep. Gaetz and Mueller, there was a heated moment as Rep. Gaetz brought up the Steele dossier, which is the opposition research document that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign commissioned.
When asked about the dossier, Mueller responded that “the Steele dossier… is beyond my purview.”
Gaetz reminded Mueller that it’s in fact in Mueller’s purview, arguing that “either, Steele made all this up and there were never any Russians ever telling him of this vast conspiracy that you didn’t find. Or Russians lied to Steele.”
He added that “if Russians were lying to Steele to undermine our confidence in our duly elected president that would seem to be precisely in your purview because you stated in your opening that your organizing principle was to fully and thoroughly investigate Russian’s interference.”
He then accused Mueller of not being “interested in whether or not Russians were interfering through Christopher Steele, and if Steele was lying, you should have charged him for lying.”
However, Mueller appeared to want to avoid the topic entirely, asserting that “this is under investigation elsewhere in the Justice Department and… it is not within my purview,” adding that “the Department of Justice and FBI should be responsive to questions on this particular issue.”