Former FBI director Robert Mueller has spent more than a year and some $17 million of taxpayer money in a special counsel investigation to find evidence that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton.
No evidence so far.
And that fact has Congress wondering.
So, House members voted Friday to audit Mueller.
Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has been asking for an audit for some time, the Washington Examiner reported, “in part because he is seeking information about the scope of the investigation.”
His amendment to a veterans, military construction and water project spending bill, adopted on a 207-201 vote, “reestablishes a semiannual Government Accountability Office financial review of obligated expenditures” by Mueller.
The audits then would go to the House Judiciary and Government Oversight committees.
Meadows, a member of the oversight panel, said, “It’s time for Congress to act to restore this key oversight provision.”
Part of the concern is that the foundation for the special counsel’s investigation has been undermined. It turns out that fired FBI director James Comey gave government documents to a friend to give to a reporter in the hope that it would prompt a special counsel probe.
The documents were memos of Comey’s behind-closed-doors meetings with the president when he was still director of the bureau.
Further, a Democratic-funded “dossier” of claims Comey himself describe as “salacious and unverified” was crucial to the FBI’s acquisition of a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign.
In fact, the evidence now shows that the Hillary Clinton campaign funded the hiring of a British agent with Russian connections to write the dossier, which then was was submitted to a top-secret FISA court as evidence.
The audit itself, at least in part, is intended to reveal the instructions from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to Mueller when the special counsel was appointed.
Th instructions outlined the scope of the Russia investigation.
But the Justice Department has refused to let Congress see the instructions, claiming it would “threaten” the investigation.
Trump has labeled the entire investigation a “witch hunt.”
WND reported last week the DOJ said it had spent more than $17 million so far.
President Trump tweeted earlier in May the special counsel probe was a “soon to be $20,000,000 Witch Hunt, composed of 13 Angry and Heavily Conflicted Democrats and two people who have worked for Obama for 8 years, STOP!”
Republican leaders critical of the investigation have argued that no evidence of collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign has been presented. Guilty pleas, unrelated to “collusion,” have been secured from Trump foreign policy aide George Papadopoulos, onetime national security adviser Michael Flynn, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and others. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort has pleaded not guilty to charges unrelated to the campaign.