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

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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP group calls on Republican senators to stand up to McConnell on election security in new ads Cindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Trump says he'll decide on foreign aid cuts within a week MORE (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he believes former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony 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 BarrBarr says he has seen 'nothing' to undercut Epstein autopsy findings Prosecutors are mainly to blame for the criminal justice crisis The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes MORE to investigate whether the probe into the Trump campaign was begun improperly.


"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 TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' 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 Rosenstein10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Why the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing MORE appointed Mueller after Trump fired James ComeyJames Brien ComeySarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 Barr predicts progressive prosecutors will lead to 'more crime, more victims' 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.