A Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee called on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation to “put up or shut up” regarding evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Kremlin.
“It’s time for Bob Mueller to put up or shut up. If there’s evidence of collusion, let’s see it,” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said in an interview on Fox News Wednesday.
“If there’s not, let’s move on as a country and let’s institute reforms at the FBI so that an egomaniac FBI director like James Comey cannot depart from the normal standard procedures that guarantees all Americans equal treatment under the law.”
Gaetz is one of a handful of House Republicans leading the drumbeat against Mueller’s investigation, which began in May but took over from an FBI probe that was started in July 2016.
A turning point for Gaetz and his Republican colleagues was the revelation earlier this month that the FBI official who first supervised the Russia investigation exchanged anti-Trump text messages with an FBI lawyer. (RELATE: ‘We Can’t Take That Risk’ — FBI Official Discussed ‘Insurance Policy’ For Trump)
In one of those texts, Peter Strzok, the FBI official, made reference to a meeting that took place in the office of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok wrote in the Aug. 15, 2016 text message.
“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Gaetz called the text message “totally unacceptable” and alleged that the text message shows that McCabe, Strzok and other FBI officials “hatched a scheme to deprive Donald Trump of the presidency both before and after his election.”
The FBI and Justice Department have not commented on the text message. People familiar with Strzok’s thinking told The Wall Street Journal this week that Strzok was not planning to derail Trump’s presidential campaign. Instead, Strzok’s associates claimed that he thought it was a good idea to continue the FBI investigation of Trump in case he was elected president.
McCabe was interviewed in Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee. Gaetz said that Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte has committed to issuing subpoenas to McCabe and Strzok.