Freedom Caucus chairman wants financial audit of Mueller investigation
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, plans to request a financial audit of the special counsel investigating Russia’s influence campaign over the 2016 presidential election.
Meadows said in an interview set to air Sunday that he will ask for a review by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the nonpartisan government watchdog that handles investigations for Congress. Meadows wants a full audit of expenses incurred by Robert Mueller and his team, Meadows told C-SPAN as first reported by the Washington Examiner.
Meadows said he wants the audit to ensure that Mueller, a former FBI director and U.S. attorney, is making proper use of the money provided to his team by Congress to look into Russia’s election meddling.
The scope of the investigation has also broadened into looking at possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.
Meadows, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said in the interview that the request is “certainly within the parameters” of the GAO.
Mueller is required to produce a public expense report every six months, and had spent nearly $7 million as of December. His budget comes from a permanent Treasury Department account specifically dedicated to the work of independent counsels.
Members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus have been vocal opponents of the Mueller probe, and the caucus has argued that they should be allowed to see documents clarifying the full scope of Mueller’s investigation. The Department of Justice refused their request due to an “ongoing investigation consistent with longstanding principles of investigatory independence.”