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Gohmert presses Mueller on Comey friendship, handling of FBI agents

Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertNIH director: Mask politicalization may have cost 'tens of thousands' of lives in US Democrats should make the 'Bee-Gees' the face of the Republican Party GOP lawmakers call for Pelosi to be fined over new screenings MORE (R-Texas) on Wednesday pressed former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE over his relationship with former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Trump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report Tina Fey, Amy Poehler to host Golden Globes from separate coasts amid pandemic MORE and his handling of the behavior of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, two key areas President TrumpDonald TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills MORE has seized on to hit Mueller's credibility.

Gohmert, who earlier this month described Muller as an "anal opening," asked if it was accurate that the former special counsel and Comey had been "good friends for many years."

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Mueller responded that they were "business associates" who came up together in the Department of Justice before acknowledging they were friends.

Gohmert asked if Comey's firing, which triggered the special counsel's appointment, came up during Mueller's meeting with Trump to discuss the FBI director position. Mueller said he could not remember.

The president has repeatedly claimed that Mueller was conflicted in his investigation because of his relationship with Comey and because he interviewed for the FBI director job before being named as special counsel.

However, Mueller's report states that he was there to advise Trump about the bureau as an institution, and he testified on Wednesday that he was not meeting with Trump as a candidate for the position.

Gohmert also zeroed in on the involvement of Strzok, whose anti-Trump text messages have been a focal point for those seeking to undermine the credibility of the Mueller investigation.

Mueller testified that he learned of the texts in the summer of 2017 and did not know of Strzok's feelings toward the president before that.

"When I did find out I acted swiftly to have him reassigned elsewhere in the FBI," Mueller testified.

Gohmert closed his line of questioning with a diatribe suggesting the special counsel's investigation was unfair and that Trump was right to lash out repeatedly against the probe.

"If somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to affect the election, and they see the big Justice Department with people that hate that person coming after them, and then a special counsel appointed who hires dozen or more people that hate that person, and he knows he's innocent ... what he’s doing is not obstructing justice, he’s pursuing justice."

"I take your question," Mueller replied, prompting light laughter among some in the hearing room.