Rep. Gaetz: People Who Hate Trump Are Investigating Him
At least two Justice Department employees demoted during Russia-collusion probe, congressman says on 'The Ingraham Angle'
People at the FBI and Justice Department who hate President Donald Trump are investigating his ties to Russia, a Florida Republican congressman told “The Ingraham Angle” on Thursday night.
“You have these people that bring their anti-Trump bias to the Mueller investigation,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), speaking to Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “Today I asked FBI Director Christopher Wray, ‘Did Mueller have a standard where people had to agree to hate the president in order to work for him?’ Christopher Wray wouldn’t answer that question as to whether or not there was a litmus test where people had to bring anti-Trump bias.”
Robert Mueller is the special counsel of the Justice Department looking into alleged Russian hacking during the 2016 presidential campaign. The investigation has yielded a few indictments of President Donald Trump's allies, including the December 1 plea agreement of Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, for misleading the FBI on January 24.
So far, however, the Mueller investigation has not shown any ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
On Thursday, Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee after storms of criticism about how the FBI and the special counsel have handled the Trump-Russia investigation. President Trump himself said the FBI is "in tatters" because of conflicts.
House Republicans have been able to poke a few holes into the claimed objectivity of the FBI and the special counsel's investigators, Gaetz said, and more disclosures are on the way.
"Time and again, we see instances. There's more to come," Gaetz told Ingraham. "We're going to see time and again other circumstances."
So far, the Mueller investigation has not shown any ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
The Justice Department and FBI have had to demote two employees for anti-Trump bias. Fox News reported on Thursday that a senior Justice Department official was demoted this week "amid an ongoing investigation into his contacts with the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump 'dossier.'"
Bruce G. Ohr served as associate deputy attorney general, a post near his supervisor, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; and also as director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces. Fox News' James Rosen reported that Ohr will lose his associate deputy title after neglecting to disclose his contacts with the firm behind the so-called Russian dossier, Fusion GPS.
The dossier is a collection of negative research on Trump that alleges corrupt ties to the Russian government. Ohr met during the 2016 campaign with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the dossier, Rosen reported. Before Fox News was set to air its news on Ohr, he was demoted.
The news followed reports of the removal of FBI agent Peter Strzok from the investigation into alleged Russian hacking and possible ties to Trump. Strzok sent negative text messages about Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Mueller removed him from the Trump-Russia investigation last summer.
And on Tuesday, Ingraham reported that Jeannie Rhee, a Mueller investigator, represented the Clinton Foundation and former Obama aide Ben Rhodes. Rhodes has become an anti-Trump agitator since leaving the government.
Gaetz said the FBI is not answering questions from the House about the dossier scandal. Gaetz even suggested it's possible that Strzok is at the center of creating the theory of Trump-Russia collusion itself, in the fall of 2016.
"We didn't get an answer as to whether or not the FBI used taxpayer money to go buy this dossier," said Gaetz. "Peter Strzok, who hated the president, possibly was the person who packaged all this together, brought it to the FISA court, and launched this entire false Russia collusion theory in the first place. It's ludicrous. Strzok is at the center of this."
PoliZette White House writer Jim Stinson can be reached at [email protected]