Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) called out Democrats for using the investigation into Russian election interference as a weapon against President Donald Trump to delegitimize him and the 2016 election at the detriment to the United States as a whole.
Special counsel Robert Mueller found in his investigation that there was no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Although the investigation took nearly two years to complete, several Democrats were more than happy to share their hot takes on Trump’s guilt before a single page of Mueller’s report was published.
For this reason, Lee condemned Democrats for using the investigation itself to attack Trump without consideration for the well-being of the country. During Attorney General William Barr’s testimony on the Mueller report on Wednesday, Lee slammed Democrats for pushing unfounded claims before the report’s release.
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“Time and time again, the president’s political adversaries have exploited the Mueller probe — its mere existence — to spread baseless innuendo in an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election and the effectiveness of this administration,” he said.
Lee pulled three examples of Democrats pushing unfounded theories about President Trump in relation to Russians.
- In January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked, “What does Putin have on the president politically, personally, or financially?”
- In February, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said it was a possibility that Trump was a Russian asset.
- Repeatedly, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) has claimed that Trump “acts on Russia’s behalf.”
Lee asked Barr if there was any basis in the evidence collected by Mueller for these claims to be made. The attorney general claimed there was none.
Since Mueller was unable to find evidence of any of these claims after two years and several millions of dollars, Lee alleged that Pelosi, Swalwell, and McCabe used unfounded claims to damage the Trump administration.
Lee isn’t the first Republican to draw this conclusion. As IJR previously reported, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), as well as Rep. Mark Green (R-Tenn.), have made similar accusations.