Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his long-awaited testimony before House committees on Wednesday and, according to House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., he did not say much of anything.
When it came to questions from Democrats, Mueller repeated what was already revealed in his report. When Republicans challenged aspects of the investigation, he declined to answer.
“Lots of questions, and not many answers on Wednesday,” Nunes said. He pointed out that after years of investigation followed by Mueller’s report and testimony, there is still no support for a case that the Trump campaign was involved in a conspiracy with Russia.
“I would say one of the main takeaways is we still don’t have any Russians,” he said. “We don’t’ know who the Russians were who supposedly colluded with the Trump campaign. Why? Because there were none, and that’s what we said two and a half years ago.”
Nunes claimed that there is evidence of Democrats colluding with Russians. “We tried to get to the bottom of that, but clearly Mueller and his team of lawyers and 40 investigators and $40 million didn’t bother to look for those Russians,” he said.
Nunes also discussed Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor whose tip about Clinton emails to George Papadopoulos is said to have led to the launching of the Russia probe in the first place. Papadopoulos mentioned the supposed dirt on Clinton to an Australian diplomat, who then notified U.S. authorities.
“It is the reason why, the documented reason why, they opened the investigation on July 31, 2016. Now what I mentioned in my testimony and in my questioning, it’s clear that the FBI did not open the investigation on July 31. That’s the paperwork. What we’re trying to figure out is when did the FBI really start to run the investigation, what types of processes did they use, what was the predicate, because it really looks like they were spying on the Trump campaign.
Nunes pointed to invitations for a Cambridge University event extended to Trump campaign members Carter Page and Stephen Miller in June. Nunes mentioned that those in attendance included British historian Christopher Andrew and former MI-6 chief Richard Dearlove.
“This is some type of contract-for-hire spying outfit,” Nunes claimed.
Mueller would not answer questions about any of this during Wednesday’s hearing, citing an ongoing investigation. Attorney General Bill Barr has Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham heading a probe of the Russia investigation’s origins.
Nunes called into question Mueller’s very role in his own investigation, speculating that his staff was primarily responsible for the 448-page document that presented the team’s findings.
“It’s clear that Mueller didn’t write the report,” he said.