NEW YORK — A defining moment of today’s televised hearings came when former Special Counsel Robert Mueller claimed that he was “not familiar” with the controversial Fusion GPS firm.
Fusion GPS, of course, was paid by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee to produce the infamous Christopher Steele dossier that reportedly played a central role in sparking the FBI’s questionable Russia collusion probe involving the very claims that Mueller’s team was purportedly established to investigate.
Unsubstantiated Fusion GPS charges were reportedly utilized as evidence in successful FISA applications to obtain successive warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign who was also a subject in Mueller’s investigation.
The Mueller team was further supposed to investigate the Trump Tower meeting and yet his final report failed to mention that three Russian participants at that meeting have ties to Fusion GPS.
Also not making the Mueller report was that, as Breitbart News first reported, email logs brought to light show numerous emails were exchanged between a Clinton associate, Fusion GPS and Trump Tower participants, with the subjects of some of those emails listing the Magnitsky Act, which sanctions Russian officials and was by all accounts the very topic of the Trump Tower meeting.
Curiously missing from Mueller’s report were any inquiries into the many questions raised by a timeline showing numerous personal meetings between Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Trump Tower participants. Some of those meetings took place within the days surrounding the Trump Tower confab.
There’s also Steele’s July 5, 2016 meeting with a Rome-based special agent, where he officially turned over to the FBI his unsubstantiated, largely-discredited anti-Trump charges as ultimately compiled in the Fusion GPS-producer dossier.
And Fusion GPS admitted to facilitating the delivery of the dossier claims to late Senator John McCain, who in turn personally passed them to then-FBI Director James Comey.
Fusion GPS was inarguably a central player in the Russia scandal and yet we are to believe the very man appointed to oversee the Justice Department’s purported investigation of that scandal is “not familiar” with the firm? Mueller’s claim raises serious questions about his credibility and partiality.
Mueller set the tone for his clear obfuscation when he opened the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing by stating outright that “I am unable to answer questions about the FBI’s initial opening of the counterintelligence investigation.” The former FBI chief added that he would be unable to answer questions on “matters relating to the Steele dossier.”
Mueller claimed he was unable to comment on the Steele dossier and the origins of the FBI’s probe because “those matters are subject to review and any questions on that should be directed to the FBI or the Department of Justice.”
Those statements are highly misleading. The reason “those matters” are currently “subject to review” is that for some unexplained reason Mueller’s costly 22-month investigation resulting in a nearly 450-page report failed to touch upon the roles of Fusion GPS and the Clinton campaign in sparking and fueling the problematic Russia collusion narrative. And some of those alleged actions may have involved actual crimes, as this reporter has previously thoroughly documented. Indeed, Mueller’s failure to examine the glaringly dubious origins of the FBI probe and Russia collusion storyline point to possible investigative malpractice.
The exchange about Fusion GPS should set off alarm bells about Mueller’s trustworthiness.
The moment came when House Judiciary Committee member Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, asked Mueller about one section of his report that referenced the Trump Tower meeting and “the firm that produced the Steele reporting.”
“When discussing the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, you reference ‘the firm that produced the Steele reporting.’ The name of that firm was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?” Chabot asked.
Mueller asked for the page number, asking, “And you’re on page 103?
Chabot replied, “Page 103. That’s correct- Volume II. When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS. Is that correct?”
“I am not familiar with – with that,” Mueller replied.
“It was. It’s not a trick question. It was Fusion GPS,” Chabot retorted.
The Congressman then asked whether Mueller was familiar with the owner of Fusion GPS.
“That’s outside my purview,” Mueller replied.
That’s precisely the problem. Those matters and others – including the roles of FBI officials, State Department members and more — should have been not only within Mueller’s purview but paramount to divining the truth about the Russia collusion claims and which parties may have committed crimes.
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.