Graham: Mueller was 'pretty much a figurehead' of investigation

Graham: Mueller was 'pretty much a figurehead' of investigation
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham asks colleagues to support call for China to close wet markets Justice IG pours fuel on looming fight over FISA court Trump says he's considering restricting travel to coronavirus 'hot spots' MORE (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he believes former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE was just a "figurehead" at the top of the investigation into the Trump campaign and pledged to investigate the probe's origins.

Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill that the GOP-controlled Senate would continue efforts alongside Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFeds distributing masks, other gear seized in price-gouging investigation to NY, NJ health care workers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - All eyes on today's unemployment numbers Trump announces enhanced counternarcotics operation at coronavirus briefing MORE to investigate whether the probe into the Trump campaign was begun improperly.

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"Yeah, I talked to him last night, we talked about ... I told him I'll try to find out how all this mess started, and went so long," Graham said, apparently referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump fires intelligence community inspector general who flagged Ukraine whistleblower complaint Trump organization has laid off over 1000 employees due to pandemic: report Trump invokes Defense Production Act to prevent export of surgical masks, gloves MORE.

"It's clear to me that Bob Mueller was pretty much a figurehead of the investigation," Graham added. "We'll dig in and find what happened."

Barr announced earlier this year that the Justice Department would begin a review of the early stages of the investigation into Russian interference into the presidential election.

The FBI's probe into Russian meddling began in 2016. The special counsel's investigation began when then-Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFull appeals court to rehear case over McGahn subpoena Graham starts closed-door depositions in FISA probe Attorney General Barr is in a mess — and has no one to blame but himself MORE appointed Mueller after Trump fired James ComeyJames Brien ComeyIs coronavirus the final Trump crisis? Full appeals court to rehear case over McGahn subpoena Tucker Carlson: Biden's 'fading intellect' an 'opportunity' for Democrats to control him MORE as FBI director.

Republicans have argued for months that the Russia investigation, which ended earlier this year without any criminal charges targeting further members of the Trump administration, was improperly launched during the Obama administration as a means of spying on the Trump campaign.

The Mueller probe resulted in criminal charges and convictions for multiple former members of the president's inner circle before its shuttering this spring.

— This story was updated at 1:16 p.m.