Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) grilled former Special Counsel Robert Mueller Wednesday on why he ignored the origins of the Christopher Steele dossier.
Congressman Gaetz opened up his questioning of Mueller, asking whether he was certain if the Christopher Steele dossier was part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Gaetz asked, “Director Mueller, can you state with confidence that the Steele dossier was not part of Russia’s disinformation campaign?”
Mueller said the Steele dossier “predated me by at least ten months.”
The Florida conservative countered by noting, “Paul Manafort’s alleged crimes regarding tax evasion predated and you had no problems charging them, and in a matter of fact, this Steel Dossier predated the attorney general, and he did not have any problem answering the question when Sen. Cornyn asked the attorney general the exact same question I asked you, director.”
The dossier, compiled by former British spy Steele, detailed Trump’s alleged ties to Russia and included an incredible accusation that Russian intelligence officials had a “pee tape” with which they could blackmail the president.
The Florida congressman noted Attorney General William Barr recently said it is not “entirely speculative” whether the Steele dossier was Russian disinformation.
Congressman Gaetz asked Steele if there was evidence of a conspiracy between Trump and the Russians or did he just “make it all up” and lied to the FBI.
Mueller said this question was “beyond my purview.”
Rep. Gaetz said this was “exactly your purview” and either the Russians lied to Steele or the former British spy made up his dossier.
Gaetz said that Mueller should have charged Steele with lying if he did lie to the special counsel and that the special counsel report says nothing about this question.
Rep. Gaetz noted Mueller spent much of his time as special counsel going after Trump associates for allegedly lying, he indicted them, whereas, he did little to go after Steele and other Democrat operatives.
“Here’s what I’m noting director Mueller: When people associated with Trump lied, you threw the book at them, when Christopher Steele lied, nothing. And so it seems to be that when Glenn Simpson, met with Russians, nothing.” Gaetz said.
“When the Trump campaign met with Russians, 3,500 words, and maybe the reason why there are these discrepancies in what you focused on is that the team is so biased, they pledged to resistance, they pledged to stop Trump,” he added.