Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller refused to answer questions about the Steele dossier during his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Wednesday and even declined to say whether or not he read the document, which played a significant role in the origins of his investigation.
Throughout both hearings – before the House Judiciary Committee and House Intelligence Committee – Mueller refused to discuss the Steele dossier – the key document that largely sparked the initial Trump-Russia inquiry – in any capacity.
He repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding the documents his team reviewed and would not say if he personally read the Steele dossier.
“As Special Counsel, did you review documents related to the origin of the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign?” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) asked.
“On occasion,” Mueller said.
“Was the Steele dossier one of those documents that was reviewed?” she followed.
“I can’t discuss that case,” Mueller responded.
Stefanik continued to grill Mueller on the Steele dossier, and he repeatedly refused to respond:
Stefanik: “I’m just asking a process question. Have you read the Steele dossier?”
Mueller: “Again, I’m not going to respond to that.”
Stefanik: “You were tasked as Special Counsel to investigate whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign associates to interfere with the 2016 election, and the FBI – we know – has relevant documents and information related to the opening of the CI investigation. Were you and your team permitted to access all of those documents?”
Mueller: “Again I can’t get into that investigative – what we collected and what we’re doing with investigation materials.”
Stefanik: “Let me ask it this way. Was there any limitation in your access to documents related to the counterintelligence investigation?”
Mueller: “That’s such a broad question. I have real trouble answering it.”
Stefanik: “Did the Special Counsel’s office undertake any efforts to investigate and verify or disprove the allegations contained in the Steele dossier?
Mueller: “Again. I can’t respond.”
Stefanik explained that she was asking those questions “for the American people” watching.
“It’s apparent that the Steele dossier formed part of the basis to justify the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election,” she said.
“As we know, it was used to obtain a FISA warrant on Carter Page,” she added. “This is why I’m asking these questions.”
Stefanik: “Did your office undertake any efforts to identify Steele’s sources or sub-sources?”
Mueller: “Again the same answer.”
Stefanik: “Were these tasks referred to any other agencies?”
Mueller: “Again, I can’t speak to it.”
Stefanik: “Did your office consider whether the Russian government used Steele’s sources to provide Steele with disinformation?”
Mueller: “Again, I can’t speak to that.”
During his previous appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Mueller said he was unfamiliar with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm behind the infamous Steele dossier.