On Friday, three Republican members of the House introduced a resolution that calls for special counsel Robert Mueller to resign from his investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Citing his ties to the FBI and its role in the controversies involving Russia, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla. Was joined by Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz. and Louie Gohmert, R-Texas. In a statement released on Friday, Gaetz declared, “Evidence has emerged that the FBI withheld information from Congress and from the American people about Russian corruption of American uranium companies.” Gaetz added, “A confidential U.S. witness, working in the Russian nuclear industry, revealed that Russia had deeply compromised an American uranium trucking firm through bribery and financial kickbacks.”
Rep. Gaetz referenced a bribery probe supervised by Mueller into a subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom, which won approval from the U.S. to buy Uranium One -- a Canadian mining company that controlled a large sector of American uranium reserves. At the time of the probe, Mueller served as Barack Obama’s FBI director. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel, was a U.S. attorney at the time. Congress wants to know how the Uranium One deal was approved despite evidence of bribery that the probe found.
Last week, the Justice Department lifted a gag order from the confidential FBI informant that had been imposed by the Obama administration. The informant, who had provided information about bribery and extortion surrounding the Uranium One deal, will now be able to inform Congress directly. Both then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have been implicated in that probe.
In his statement, Gaetz said, “Although federal agents possessed this information in 2010, the Department of Justice continued investigating this “matter” for over four years. The FBI, led at the time by Robert Mueller, required the confidential witness to sign a non-disclosure agreement. When the witness attempted to contact Congress and federal courts about the bribery and corruption he saw, he was threatened with legal action.” Gaetz continued: “By silencing him, Obama’s Justice Department and Mueller’s FBI knowingly kept Congress in the dark about Russia’s significant and illegal involvement with American uranium companies.”
Due to these “deeply troubling” events, Gaetz said that Mueller’s “impartiality is hopelessly compromised.” Gaetz said on Friday that Mueller “must step down immediately.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has called for an independent special counsel to investigate the Obama-era Uranium One deal. Investigative journalist Ed Klein said in a radio interview on Friday that prosecutors at the Justice Department have called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special prosecutor. So far, Klein said, Sessions has resisted the suggestions from DOJ and Republicans. Klein predicted that Trump will soon remove Sessions.
Currently, there are two bipartisan bills in the Senate that would limit President Trump’s authority to remove a special counsel. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., are behind the bills, which have Democrat support.