GOP lawmaker Dana Rohrabacher says Russia investigation is boosting his reelection campaign

Rep. Dana RohrabacherDana Tyrone RohrabacherThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Biden go toe-to-toe in Iowa Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz Former GOP Rep. Rohrabacher joins board of cannabis company MORE (R-Calif.) said during an interview that aired on Monday that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE’s ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling is helping his reelection campaign.

Rohrabacher, who has been long known for his pro-Russia stance, said the investigation might have played a bigger role a year ago, but argues that Americans are now “sick and tired” of hearing about the investigation, which has been going on for over a year.

“There’s been nothing that the special counsel has come up with in terms of the real collusion between Trump and the Russians — them using the issue on me is actually helping my campaign because people know it’s a bogus charge,” Rohrabacher told Hill.TV co-hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

Over three dozen people have been charged in connection with the probe, eight have pleaded guilty, and six, including four associates of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE, have agreed to cooperate with Mueller's team.

Mueller is expected to release his key findings as early as following November's midterm elections.

The Republican congressman also rejected being labeled as “pro-Russia” and “pro-Putin,” calling the notions a “bogus charge.” First elected into Congress in 1988, Rohrabacher is the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee and oversees U.S. relations in Eastern Europe, where he has regularly advocated for closer relations with Russia.

“Where it is mutually beneficial for us to work with Russia, we should be working with Russia in those cases and that’s been translated to all these people as if I’m pro-Putin and pro-Russia ... which is baloney,” he said.

Rohrabacher has served in the House for nearly 30 years, but has found himself in a close race with Democratic challenger Harley Roud in California's 48th Congressional District.

Like President Trump, Rohrabacher has repeatedly attacked the special counsel investigation. In his interview “Rising,” the congressman called it a “fraud” and nothing but a “power grab” by Democrats who are just trying to discredit the president.

The congressman once dined with Russian Maria Butina, who was indicted in July for acting as an unregistered foreign agent of Moscow, according to a report by ABC News. But Rohrabacher downplayed the significance of the meeting, saying he was joined by another U.S. lawmaker. He has called the charges against Butina “bogus.”

Polling shows that his alleged coziness with Russia might be a nonissue for voters in his district.

A Monmouth University poll found that 56 percent of voters said they are not concerned that Rohrabacher may be too friendly toward Russia, compared to 37 percent who said they were a little concerned about his approach towards Russia.

The same poll also found that Rohrabacher slightly leads Harley Rouda, 50 percent to 48 percent in its likely voter model.

He is viewed as one of the more vulnerable Republicans seats ahead of Tuesday's midterms. His district narrowly swung towards Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Democrats fear Ohio slipping further away in 2020 Poll: Warren leads Biden in Maine by 12 points MORE in the 2016 election.

The Cook Political Report rates the district as a "toss up."

— Tess Bonn