House

Gohmert presses Mueller on Comey friendship, handling of FBI agents

Greg Nash

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Wednesday pressed former special counsel Robert Mueller over his relationship with former FBI Director James Comey and his handling of the behavior of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, two key areas President Trump 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.”

{mosads}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.

Tags Donald Trump House Judiciary Committee James Comey Louie Gohmert Mueller hearing Mueller investigation Mueller report Robert Mueller Testimony
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