Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) presses former Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the origins of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation. Jordan says maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started.
"Maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started. Maybe it's to go back and actually figure out why Joseph Mifsud was lying to the FBI. Here's the good news--that's exactly what Bill Barr is doing. And thank goodness for that," Jordan said.
From Wednesday's House Judiciary Committee hearing:
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Director of the FBI interviewed Joseph Mifsud on February 10th, 2017. In that interview, Mr. Mifsud lied. You point this out on page 193, Volume 1--Mifsud denied Mifsud also falsely stated--in addition, Mifsud also omitted--three times he lied to the FBI yet you didn't charge him with a crime.
ROBERT MUELLER, FMR. SPECIAL COUNSEL: Excuse me are you--you said 1--I'm sorry, did you say 193?
JORDAN: Volume 1, 193. He lied three times you pointed out in the report. Why didn't you charge him with a crime?
MUELLER: I can't get into internal deliberations with regard who would or would not be--
JORDAN: Charged a lot of other people for making false statement. Let's remember this--let's remember this--in 2016, the FBI did something that they probably haven't done before--they spied on two American citizens associated with a presidential campaign--George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. With Carter Page they went to the FISA court. They used the now famous dossier as part of the reason they were able to get the warrant and spy on Carter Page for a better part of a year. With Mr. Papadopoulos, they didn't go to the court. The used human sources.
All kinds--from about the moment Papadopoulos joins the Trump campaign you got all these people all around the world starting to swirl around him--names like Halpert, Downer, Mifsud, Thompson--meeting in Rome, London all kinds of places. The FBI even sent--even sent a lady posing as somebody else went by the name Azra Turk even dispatched her to London to spy on Mr. Papadopoulos. In one of these meeting Mr. Papadopoulos is talking to a foreign diplomat and he tells the diplomat Russians have dirt on Clinton.
That diplomat then contacts the FBI and the FBI opens an investigation based on that fact. You pointed this out on page 1 of the report. July 31st, 2016, they open the investigation based on that piece of information. Diplomat tells Papadopoulos Russians have dirt--excuse me--Papadopoulos tells the diplomat Russians have dirt on Clinton. Diplomat tells the FBI--what I'm wondering is who told Papadopoulos? How'd he find out?
MUELLER: I can't get into the evidentiary fil--
JORDAN: Yes, you can. Cause you wrote about it. You gave us the answer. Page 192 of the report you tell us who told him. Joseph Mifsud. Joseph Mifsud is the guy who told Papadopoulos. The mysterious professor who lives in Rome and London. Works and teaches at two different universities. This is the guy who told Papadopoulos. He's the guy who starts it all. And when the FBI interviews him, he lies three times and yet you don't charge him with a crime. You charge Rick Gates for false statements. You charge Paul Manafort for false statements. You charge Michael Cohen with false statements. You charge Michael Flynn, a three star general with false statements. But the guy who puts the country through this whole saga starts it all for three years we've lived this now--he lies and you guys don't charge him. And I'm curious as to why.
MUELLER: Well, I can't get into it and--and it's obvious, I think that we can't get into charging decisions.
JORDAN: When the FBI interviewed him in February--FBI interviews him in February. When the special counsel's interviews Mifsud, did he lie to you guys too?
MUELLER: Can't get into that.
JORDAN: Did you interview Mifsud?
MUELLER: Can't get into that.
JORDAN: Is Mifsud western intelligence or Russian intelligence?
MUELLER: Can't get into that.
JORDAN: A lot of things you can't get into. What's interesting--you can charge 13 Russians no one has ever heard of, no one has ever seen, no one is ever going to hear of them, no one is every going to see them--you can charge them--you can charge all kinds of people who are around the president with false statements but the guy who launches every--the guy who puts this whole story in motion you can't charge him. I think that's amazing.
MUELLER: (INAUDIBLE) I'm not certain I--I agree with your characterization.
JORDAN: Well, I'm reading from your report. Mifsud told Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos tells the diplomat. The diplomat tells the FBI. The FBI opens the investigation July 31st, 2016 and here we are three years later, July of 2019. The country's been put through this and this central figure who launches it all--lies to us and you guys don't hunt him down and interview him again and you don't charge him with a crime. And here's the good news--here's the good news--the president was falsely accused of conspiracy. The FBI does a 10 month investigation and James Comey when we deposed him a year ago told us at that point they had nothing. You do a 22 month investigation the end of that 22 months you find no conspiracy. And what's the democrats want to do? They want to keep investigating. They want to keep going.
Maybe a better course of action--maybe a better course of action is to figure out how the false accusations started. Maybe it's to go back and actually figure out why Joseph Mifsud was lying to the FBI. And here's the good news--here's the good news--that's exactly what Bill Barr is doing. And thank goodness for that. That's exactly what the attorney general and John Durham are doing. They're going to find out why we went through this year--
NADLER: Time of the gentleman--
JORDAN: --saga and get to the bottom of it.