Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) on Friday introduced a resolution calling on special counsel Robert Mueller to step aside from the Russia probe, claiming that Mueller is “hopelessly compromised” because he ran the FBI when it was investigating a Russian nuclear energy company.
In his statement on the resolution, Gaetz appears to be referring to an October report in The Hill that the FBI was investigating a bribery scheme at a Russian nuclear energy firm and its arm in the U.S. A spokesperson for an unnamed informant who allegedly spoke to the FBI about this scheme told The Hill that the informant had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI, barring him from talking to Congress. Gaetz also criticized Mueller for not bringing charges against the Russian firm while he was running the FBI.
“These deeply troubling events took place when Mr. Mueller was the director of the FBI. As such, his impartiality is hopelessly compromised. He must step down immediately,” Gaetz said in a statement.
The resolution itself also mentions donations to the Clinton Foundation and speaking fees received by former President Bill Clinton while the Obama administration was considering a deal to allow the Russian nuclear energy agency to acquire a stake in Uranium One, a Canadian company with uranium extraction operations in the U.S. President Donald Trump and conservatives have railed against Hillary Clinton over the Uranium One deal in recent weeks as Mueller’s Russia probe has intensified. Clinton was secretary of state when the deal was approved, but she did not have sole power over the deal.
In the resolution, Gaetz argues that Muller is compromised because he “has a personal or political relationship” with an “organization substantially involved in the conduct that is subject of the investigation” and argued that Mueller’s participation in the Russia probe “would create an appearance of conflict of interest likely to affect public perception of the integrity of the investigation.”
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) have joined Gaetz as co-sponsors of the resolution, according to Gaetz’s statement.