Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, speculated that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s denial of a BuzzFeed report was motivated by fear of a Department of Justice inspector general investigation of the special counsel’s office’s leaks to news media. Such unauthorized disclosures, he added, are federal crimes.
The BuzzFeed alleged that President Donald Trump directed his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress regarding a proposed real estate deal in Russia.
Von Spakovsky offered his analysis in a Friday interview on SriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Rick Manning.
Von Spakovsky highlighted CNN’s live coverage of last Friday’s FBI raid of Roger Stone’s home in Fort Lauderdale, FL, as evidence of coordination between the Mueller-led special counsel’s office and news media.
Von Spakovsky said, “We know that once again, someone at the FBI or the special counsel’s office leaked information about this. That’s why CNN was there.”
CNN denied being tipped off by law enforcement sources ahead of the FBI raid of Stone’s home, crediting “reporter’s instinct” with its decision to have a camera crew outside of Stone’s home during the raid.
Von Spakovsky added, “And remember, that’s one of the things the inspector general at DOJ talked about when they released their report about the Hillary Clinton investigation, was how people at the FBI were constantly violating the rule against disclosing this kind of thing to the public.”
Von Spakovsky remarked, “I actually think one of the reasons that Mueller came out so quickly to deny the BuzzFeed story was that he wanted to ensure that no one believed that his office had leaked any kind of evidence gathered by the grand jury that he’s been using for this entire investigation, because that is a federal criminal offence. If BuzzFeed got any information from inside his office, that’s the kind of thing that the inspector general would be charged with investigating and then recommending criminal prosecution of any prosecutors or other staff in Mueller’s office that leaked grand jury information.”
Von Spakovsky lamented FBI Director Chris Wray’s failure to rein in what he described as the FBI’s use of “abusive tactics” in relation to the Mueller-led investigation.
“I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in the current head of the FBI, Chris Wray, who came in promising that he would clean things up,” said von Spakovsky. “[Chris Wray said] he would try to stop the abusive behavior going on inside the FBI and yet, not only has he not done it, but that kind of abusive behavior and taking advantage of the law enforcement power of the FBI has continued.”
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