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

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

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOvernight Energy: Biden reportedly will pledge to halve US emissions by 2030 | Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - GOP draws line on taxes; nation braces for Chauvin verdict Senate GOP faces post-Trump spending brawl MORE (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he believes 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 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 BarrBill BarrGroups see new openings for digging up dirt on Trump Amy Coney Barrett receives million advance for book deal: report Garland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees 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 TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' 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 RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE appointed Mueller after Trump fired James ComeyJames Brien ComeyShowtime developing limited series about Jan. 6 Capitol riot Wray says FBI not systemically racist John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges 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.