WASHINGTON – Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III refuted President Donald Trump’s frequently touted assertion that Mueller’s 22-month investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election constituted a political “witch hunt.”
“It is not a witch hunt,” Mueller said at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday afternoon.
Mueller’s assertion was prompted by a question from Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) .
Schiff opened the hearing, which is Mueller’s second today, with a dark assessment of the contents of the 448-page report on the investigation.
“Lies about a gleaming tower in Moscow and lies about talks with the Kremlin. Lies about the firing of FBI Director James Comey, and lies about efforts to fire you, Mr. Mueller, and lies to cover it up. Lies about secret negotiations with the Russians over sanctions and lies about Wikileaks. Lies about polling data and lies about hush money payments. Lies about meetings in the Seychelles to set up secret back channels, and lies about a secret meeting in New York Trump Tower. Lies to the FBI, lies to your staff, and lies to our Committee. And lies to obstruct an investigation into the most serious attack on our democracy by a foreign power in our history.”
Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) downplayed Democrats’ enthusiasm for the hearing.
“Democrats have argued for nearly three years that evidence of collusion is hidden just around the corner. Like the Loch Ness Monster, they insist it’s there, even if no one can find it.”
Mueller said in his report that he did not find evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Mueller did not make a determination as to whether Trump obstructed justice.