Towards the end of Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, the former special counsel indicated that the FBI is currently investigating matters of blackmail and compromise involving those who were in President Donald Trump’s orbit.
During his allotted time, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) noted that because it was outside the Mueller investigation’s purview, the final report did not reach any counterintelligence conclusions regarding “any Trump administration officials who may be vulnerable to compromise or blackmail by Russia.”
“Those decisions were probably made in the FBI,” Mueller, himself a former head of the FBI, replied. “We referred to the counterintelligence goals of our investigation which were secondary to any criminal wrongdoing we could find.”
Krishnamoorthi, meanwhile, pointed out that the report also did not address whether Russian oligarchs engaged in money laundering through the president’s businesses. “And, of course, your office did not obtain the president’s tax returns, which could otherwise show foreign financial services, correct?” Krishnamoorthi asked.
“I’m not going to get into that,” Mueller responded.
The Illinois lawmaker then noted that Mueller had charged former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn with making false statements about his conversations with Russian officials. “Since it was outside the purview of your investigation, your report did not address how Flynn’s false statements could pose a national security risk, because the Russians knew the falsity of those statements, right?” Krishnamoorthi wondered.
“I cannot get into that, mainly because there are many elements that the FBI are looking into different aspects of that issue,” Mueller said in response.
“Currently?” Krishnamoorthi quizzically replied.
“Currently,” the one-time FBI chief confirmed.
Following the hearing, the Democratic congressman told The Daily Beast that he was surprised when Mueller told him that there are such ongoing investigations into Trumpworld.
“Yes, that was news,” said Krishnamoorthi. “I didn’t anticipate that.”
“He said that there’s an ongoing FBI investigation into the counter-intelligence risk associated with Flynn, and so I presume it’s others as well,” the congressman continued. “We know that others have some very questionable ties and dealings with Russia such as Jared Kushner. I’d be very curious whether the counterintelligence investigations extend to his risks, as well.”
—With additional reporting by Sam Brodey.