Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz went on an absolutely devastating run of questioning on the Steele Dossier that Director Robert Mueller’s descendants will feel.
“Director Mueller, can you state with confidence that the Steele dossier was not part of Russia’s disinformation campaign?” Gaetz asked.
Mueller responded by saying that the building of the case predated him by 10 months, but Gaetz seemed ready for this.
“Yeah, and Paul Manafort’s alleged crimes regarding tax evasion predated you. You had no trouble charging them. As a matter of fact, the Steele dossier predated [Attorney General William Barr], and he didn’t have any problem answering the question when Sen. Cornyn asked the attorney general the exact question I asked you, director,” Gaetz responded.
Barr had previously stated that he couldn’t say with confidence that the dossier was part of the Russian disinformation campaign.
“You identify no factual basis regarding the dossier or the possibility that [the dossier] was part of the Russia disinformation campaign,” continued Gaetz.
“Christopher Steele’s reporting is referenced in your report. Steele reported to the FBI that senior Russian foreign ministry figures along with other Russians told him that there was … ‘extensive evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign team and The Kremlin.’”
“Here’s my question: Did Russians really tell that to Christopher Steele? Or did he just make it all up and was he lying to the FBI?” asked Gaetz.
Mueller tried to toss this question aside by once again throwing up the excuse that this was beyond his purview, which he has done multiple times during this line of questioning. However, Gaetz wasn’t letting him have it.
“As I said earlier, with regard to the Steele [dossier], that is beyond my purview,” Mueller responded.
“No, it is! It is exactly your purview, Director Mueller, and here’s why: Only one of two things is possible. Either Steele made this whole thing up, and there were never any Russians telling him of this vast criminal conspiracy that you didn’t find, or Russians lied to Steele,” Gaetz said.
“Now, if Russians were lying to Steele to undermine our confidence in our duly elected president, that would seem to be precisely your purview, because you stated in your opening that the organizing principle was to fully and thoroughly investigate Russia’s interference, but you weren’t interested in whether or not Russians are interfering,” Gaetz said.
Gaetz was right. Mueller’s entire investigation is based on the Steele Dossier, and as such fits well within his purview. However, Mueller seems all too willing to dance around little facts like this.
Gaetz put the finishing touches on his line of questioning by asking Mueller about his relationship with anti-Trump figures and noted that when it came to pro-Trump people, Mueller threw the book right at them while tip-toeing around anti-Trump figures.