Special counsel Robert Mueller needs to be investigated for destruction of FBI evidence, President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said in an interview with Hill.TV’s John Solomon and Buck Sexton.
Referencing recent reports that Mueller’s office allowed text messages from former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to be destroyed, Giuliani levied harsh accusations at the special counsel.
“Mueller should be investigated for destruction of evidence for allowing those text messages from Strzok to be erased, messages that would show the state of mind and tactics of his lead anti-Trump FBI agent at the start of his probe,” said Giuliani.
The Inspector General of the DOJ revealed in a report this month that it found large gaps in text message records between Strzok and Page, the top FBI agents in charge of investigating both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the 2016 US election. Of note, the two agents harbored extreme animus against then-candidate Trump, while supporting Hillary Clinton – bias which the DOJ claims never made its way into their work.
After Strzok was kicked off the special counsel investigation following the discovery of anti-Trump text messages between he and Page, his Mueller’s Records Officer scrubbed Strzok’s iPhone after determining “it contained no substantive text messages,” reported the Conservative Review‘s Jordan Schachtel in mid-December.
I’m sure you’re all super shocked to find out that Lisa Page’s phone was also scrubbed pic.twitter.com/NWV9GQbBTc
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) December 13, 2018
* Strzok texts he’ll “stop Trump”
* Strzok texts that NYT is upset about WaPo scoop.
* Strzok texts Page re “insurance policy”
* Mueller then smashes their phones with a virtual hammer.
Go on how you’re concerned about corruption, obstruction of justice, and collusion. https://t.co/6267rsEahS
— Razor (@hale_razor) December 13, 2018
“That should be investigated, damn it, that should be investigated fully. You want a special counsel, get one for that.”
When pressed about whether he thought the erasure was intentional and not just a mistake, Giuliani alluded to the infamous erasure of a Watergate tape by President Richard Nixon’s loyal secretary a half-century earlier.
“It’s actually worse than Rose Mary Woods,” he explained. “She erased less than 19 minutes of conversation, but the FBI got rid of more than 19,000 messages” and the messages from the time Strzok and Page worked for Mueller are lost forever.
Giuliani said the Russia probe investigators also should be investigated for using the Christopher Steele dossier, which he called a “piece of garbage,” to justify a search warrant on a Trump adviser without telling the court it was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party.
“Do I think that is improper? Yeah, that borders on, that sounds to me a lot more like a false statement than some of the ones they charged,” he said, referring to Mueller’s team. –The Hill
Giuliani knocked Mueller’s team for what he claims are “false statements” by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen during Cohen’s sentencing several weeks ago on charges mostly unrelated to the Trump campaign.
“He just lied the other day. He told the judge, ‘I was fiercely loyal to Donald Trump.’ No, he wasn’t. He taped him surreptitiously while he was fiercely loyal. He hid it. And he disclosed it,” said Giuliani, adding that the Mueller team’s failure to stand up during sentencing and correct Cohen’s lie “is unethical in and of itself. “Making a false statement to a court, even a lawyer, you’ve to correct it.”
Giuliani added that the Mueller probe has traveled well beyond its original mandate:
He said Mueller’s current focus on whether Trump friends such as Roger Stone were communicating with WikiLeaks outside the campaign about hacked Hillary Clinton emails shows just how far astray the probe had gone.
“We’re now four degrees of separation from the original mandate of the investigation, which was collusion which did not occur,” he noted.
When asked whether Mueller should be the last special prosecutor ever appointed by the Justice Department, Giuliani hedged: “I never like to say never but I must say I have great pause after seeing the abuses in this investigation.”
The FBI, he added, still needs to rehabilitate itself from the damage done by missteps in the Russia probe. Giuliani said he believed that “99 percent of the FBI agents” were doing a great job but that a small group of “FBI politicians” had improperly hijacked the Russia probe during fired director James Comey’s tenure. –The Hill
The former New York City mayor added that he doesn’t know if FBI director Christopher Wray will help right the wrongs from the Russia probe.
“I’m uncertain because I haven’t heard anything from him … . The first way you fix problems is by acknowledging them.”