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 emerges as go-to ally for Biden's judicial picks This Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Biden move to tap oil reserves draws GOP pushback MORE (R-S.C.) said Thursday that he believes former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG 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 BarrMichael Cohen officially released from prison sentence Incoming NAACP Legal Defense Fund president sees progress against 'revitalized mission to advance white supremacy' Fox's Bartiromo called Bill Barr 'screaming' about election fraud: book 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 TrumpOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats On The Money — Powell pivots as inflation rises Trump cheers CNN's Cuomo suspension 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 RosensteinWashington still needs more transparency House Judiciary to probe DOJ's seizure of data from lawmakers, journalists The Hill's Morning Report - Biden-Putin meeting to dominate the week MORE appointed Mueller after Trump fired James ComeyJames Brien ComeyCountering the ongoing Republican delusion How Biden should sell his infrastructure bill 'Finally, infrastructure week!': White House celebrates T bill 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.