Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey speaks with FNC's Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" to discuss concerns about how the FBI handled the 2016 investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia:
MARIA BARTIROMO: The conclusions of the I.G. report were certainly debated after it came out, because you had the AG, William Barr, and John Durham, both say that they do not agree. Saying that the I.G. report makes it clear the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a presidential campaign on thinnest of suspicions that were insufficient to justify the steps taken. I want to ask you about political bias, where it was in the investigation. Was that among the reasons they investigated Donald Trump?
MICHAEL MUKASEY: Well. Let's look, let's look at the evidence. It is evidence that was not discussed in either the I.G. report or his prior report on the various investigations that the FBI did. There was a point where Ted Cruz withdrew from the campaign, during the primaries, which left Donald Trump as the only candidate, therefore the presumptive nominee. That night, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page exchange texts where she tells him, Trump won, it will be a Trump-Clinton campaign. He says, "I can't believe it." And she says --
MARIA BARTIROMO: We're looking at the text right now. Lisa Page says, one more thing, she --
MICHAEL MUKASEY: That was later when he was --
MARIA BARTIROMO: "She might be our next president. The last thing you need going in there is full to bear. Peter Strzok was about to interview Hillary Clinton that July 4 weekend.
MICHAEL MUKASEY: That was in July. Earlier on they had this exchange where she says, "I can't believe he is going to be the nominee."
MARIA BARTIROMO: She says, "Holy S-word, Cruz just dropped out of the race. It will be a Clinton-Trump race. Unbelievable." Peter Strzok says what? You heard it here right, my friend. Figured it would be a bit." Strzok says, "Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE."
MICHAEL MUKASEY: MYE, was the, stood for the Mid-Year Exam which was the code word for the investigation of Hillary Clinton. Now, will somebody please explain to me, in words of one syllable, how it is that the nomination of Donald Trump being the Republican candidate increases the pressure to end the investigation of Hillary Clinton? Unless what you want is, to curtail the damage to Hillary Clinton and assure that Donald Trump doesn't win. I don't understand what reason you would have to say that the Trump nomination affects the course of the Clinton investigation. He said that. Which is evidence that there was some effect.
Now, that's never mentioned in the I.G. report. It is never mentioned in his earlier report. I understand that he basically took everybody's word for it because he doesn't have subpoena power. There is somebody who does have subpoena power. That is John Durham. And Durham will be conducting a criminal investigation which we have yet to hear about.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Durham's investigation will go looking at what happened before July 2016, because the FBI continues to say we started this investigation into July of 2016 because of a tip we heard about a conversation that happened in a bar between George Papadopoulos and an informant.
But actually we know that informants ran into George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, as early as March of that year.
MICHAEL MUKASEY: Not only that, Jim Comey was talking about Carter Page and briefing on Carter Page in June of 2016 well before any report on the conversation reached the FBI. We don't know why. It will be interesting to find out.
MARIA BARTIROMO: So John Durham is looking at this as a criminal matter, what took place before July 16th. We'll focus on that in Durham's investigation.
I want to ask you about what took place last week where Adam Schiff had phone records of Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, John Solomon, a journalist, Devin Nunes, we'll speak momentarily ranking member intel committee, not only get those phone records and let the public that he had not phone records. Everybody was speculating why did Rudy Giuliani call the White House. Why did John Solomon call Rudy Giuliani? Which, really, you're allowed to make a phone call.
MICHAEL MUKASEY: That is the stunner, not just that he had them, but where he got them, from the phone company providing the service. There are statutes, part of the criminal code that restrict the ability of anybody to get those records and they list who can get them under what circumstances and that doesn't include Congress. It is for law enforcement, for law enforcement purposes, or if the company wants to disclose them to save somebody's life or prevent serious injury they can do that. Those are the only circumstances. A Congressional committee, as far as I know, has no authority to subpoena that information.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Are you saying that was a crime?
MICHAEL MUKASEY: The statute restricting that is in title 18. That is the criminal code. You tell me.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Wow. Devin Nunes says he will have a legal strategy come January. We'll see what that looks like. Do you think he has strong standing?
MICHAEL MUKASEY: I think he has strong standing and there ought to be questions asked and answered how it is that Schiff purported to issue a congressional subpoena for telephone records to the provider, not to the people whose records they were, but to the provider.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Yeah.
MICHAEL MUKASEY: Does that mean for example, if somebody is nominated for a public office and being confirmed by a Senate committee that the Senate committee has the right to look at his telephone records? That is ridiculous. The statute was designed to stop that.
MARIA BARTIROMO: AT&T rolled over and gave him the data, unbelievably.