Politics

Mueller Probe Is ‘Just Plain Wrong’ and ‘Has Got to Be Ended’

Wrap up the Russia inquiry, said Mark Penn, former Clinton adviser — 'there doesn’t seem to be a concrete intelligence origin' behind it

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian interests “has got to be ended and stopped,” former Clinton adviser Mark Penn said Monday night on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”

A co-founder of the Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) polling company, Penn advised former President Bill Clinton as a pollster in the 1990s. He also played a significant role as the former president responded to his impeachment proceedings and advised 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during her senatorial bids and her presidential bid in 2008.

Penn (shown above left) wrote an op-ed published in The Hill on Sunday called “Stopping Robert Mueller to protect us all,” saying “the ‘deep state’ is in a deep state of desperation. With little time left before the Justice Department inspector general’s report becomes public, and with special counsel Robert Mueller having failed to bring down Donald Trump after a year of trying, they know a reckoning is coming.”

Noting that the DOJ IG Michael Horowitz’s report reviewing the department’s conduct during its controversial investigations into Trump and Clinton will be released soon, Penn also emphasized that “concrete” origins for the FBI’s investigation into the Trump campaign appear to be lacking.

“I think [House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Devin] Nunes is finding out, like, what are the origins of the investigation. And there doesn’t seem to be a real, concrete intelligence origin for this investigation,” Penn said.

“Without a foundation, one wonders, what did we spend an entire year on? What did we disrupt — everyone who was in the campaign, everyone who was in the administration?” Penn continued. “I’ve seen in 1998 — I spent a year fighting this thing with [former independent counsel for the Whitewater scandal] Ken Starr. And I think this thing is just plain wrong and has got to be ended and stopped.”

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, told Fox News host Martha MacCallum that Penn “raises fair points.”

“We’ve seen unprecedented actions taken in connection with political candidates and campaigns and the involvement of our intelligence community and our law enforcement community,” said Ratcliffe (pictured above, right). “These are fair questions that the American people are really concerned about.”

If the Horowitz report “is really critical” of former FBI Director James Comey and other former and current intelligence community officials, then “it will open a floodgate against them,” Ratcliffe warned.

Penn also said he believed that Trump’s demand Sunday that DOJ investigate whether or not his campaign was infiltrated and surveilled for “political purposes” wasn’t as far-fetched as Democrats and mainstream media members make it out to be.

Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates all slammed Trump’s demand.

“I don’t see it as dangerous and threatening,” Penn said. “Look, we’ve really seen here people indicted for unrelated charges in order to flip on the president. So we’ve found people’s lives being totally disrupted and ruined in order to get the objective of ‘Get the president.'”

Related: FBI Not Only ‘Obama Agency’ Spying on Trump in 2016?

“Look, we ‘get the president’ through elections. If we don’t get back to winning our battles on issues or elections — whether you’re Democrat or Republican — it’s 1998 all over again,” Penn warned. “And that’s the pattern we’ve seen. We’ve seen the less they come up, the more they investigate, instead of the opposite.”

Ratcliffe noted that Brennan and Clapper and Comey “all have a lot at stake here” with the upcoming IG report.

“Their decisions are the ones that are being looked at,” Ratcliffe said, noting that congressional investigators “are trying to get these documents related to how did this infiltration of the Trump campaign or folks associated with the campaign begin.”

The documents subpoenaed and the IG report “will answer the question of whether or not there was an appropriate purpose behind this, as opposed to an inappropriate political purpose,” Ratcliffe said.

Although liberals and mainstream media members have obsessed over Mueller’s probe and allegations of Trump-Russia collusion for more than a year, some Democrats are warning that extreme emphasis on the probe will hurt Democrats’ chances in the upcoming 2018 midterm elections.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) Communications Director Meredith Kelly told MacCallum Monday that many swing state voters don’t care about the Russia probe.

“Do you know a lot of people that care about Russia when you talk to folks who are out there in the country? Do they care?” MacCallum asked Kelly.

Kelly admitted, “It’s not the first, second, or third thing that voters are telling us in the House battlefield in these swing districts.”

“I think people want this investigation to go unimpeded, but they really care about those pocketbook issues and that’s what Democratic candidates are trying to focus on,” Kelly said. “Russia is certainly a big topic and this investigation is one that a lot of people are focused on, but Democratic candidates all across the country are actually talking directly to voters about the issues that impact their everyday lives.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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