Dem lawmaker asks Mueller if Trump administration was vulnerable to blackmail

Dem lawmaker asks Mueller if Trump administration was vulnerable to blackmail
© Greg Nash

A Democratic lawmaker questioned former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski 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 Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE on Wednesday over whether members of the Trump administration were considered by the Justice Department to be vulnerable to blackmail.

Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Pelosi set to unveil drug price plan | Abortion rate in US hits lowest level since Roe v. Wade | Dems threaten to subpoena Juul Congressional Democrats threaten to subpoena Juul in teen vaping investigation The Hill's Morning Report - What is Trump's next move on Iran? MORE (D-Ill.) asked Mueller during a hearing of the House Intelligence Committee about his report's decision to not reach "counterintelligence conclusions" about whether there are “any Trump administration officials who may be vulnerable to compromise or blackmail by Russia.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Those decisions were probably made in the FBI,” the former special counsel responded, adding: “We referred to the counterintelligence goals of our investigation which were secondary to any criminal wrongdoing we could find.” 

Krishnamoorthi also questioned whether the report had examined whether former national security adviser Michael Flynn presented a risk to U.S. security by making false statements about his contacts with members of the Russian government, which he argued gave the Russians leverage over Flynn.

“Since it was outside the purview of your investigation, your report did not address how Flynn’s false statements could pose a national security risk, because the Russians knew the falsity of those statements, right?” the congressman asked.

“I cannot get into that, mainly because there are many elements that the FBI are looking into different aspects of that issue,” Mueller replied, adding that such questions were "currently" being looked into when further questioned by Krinshamoorthi.

Flynn resigned as White House national security adviser early into the president's term in 2017 after it was revealed he had made false statements to Vice President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceBillionaire to host top-dollar fundraiser in New York City for President Trump Poll: Trump neck and neck with top 2020 Democrats in Florida Trump fires back at Graham over Iran criticism MORE about his contacts with Russian officials.

He was since convicted of making false statements to investigators, and is awaiting sentencing.