Republican Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko accused former special counsel Robert Mueller of using little more than “regurgitated press stories” to compile an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump.
“Mr. Mueller, rather than purely relying on the evidence provided by witnesses and documents, I think you relied a lot on media. I’d like to know how many times you cited The Washington Post in your report,” Lesko began.
Mueller was unsure how many times and Lesko noted that she had counted 60 times that the Washington Post was cited in the report. Lesko also counted 75 times that Mueller’s report cited the New York Times and 25 times that the report cited Fox News.
“I’ve got to say, it looks like Volume II is mostly regurgitated press stories,” Lesko concluded. “Honestly, there’s almost nothing in Volume II that I couldn’t already hear or know simply by having a $50 cable news subscription. However, your investigation cost the American taxpayers $25 million.”
Lesko went on to note that the only caveat indicating that the media reports were being cited for context rather than because he necessarily believed them to contain factual information was a footnote that most people would probably never see.
“Mr. Mueller, you cited media reports nearly 200 times in your report,” she explained. “Then in a footnote, a small footnote, number 7 page 15 of Volume II of your report, you wrote — not for the truth of the information contained in the stories but rather to place candidate Trump’s response to those stories and context. Since nobody but lawyers reads footnotes, are you concerned that the American public took the embedded news stories —”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler cut Lesko off at that point, noting that her time had expired.