U.S. attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has called for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be investigated.
During an interview with Hill.tv’s Buck Sexton, Giuliani, who is representing President Trump, contended that the Muller investigative team should be investigated for the deletion of 19,000 texts between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“Mueller should be investigated for destruction of evidence for allowing those text messages from Strzok to be erased, messages that would show the state of mind and tactics of his lead anti-Trump FBI agent at the start of his probe,” Giuliani said, per the Hill.tv.
“That should be investigated, damn it, that should be investigated fully. You want a special counsel, get one for that,” Giuliani added.
The Justice Department inspector general reported this month that it found large gaps in the preservation of official government text messages between Strzok and Page, the two top FBI agents who helped to start the Russia probe in 2016, who were having an affair at the time, and who expressed disdain for Trump.
The report said a technical glitch was to blame for the FBI’s failure to save those text messages but the IG was able to recover more than 19,000 from the early part of the Russia probe before Mueller was named special prosecutor.
However, the IG said it was unable to recover messages from the time Strzok and Page worked for Mueller’s office in spring and summer 2017 because the memories of both FBI officials’ government phones were wiped clean by technicians.
That erasure occurred after Strzok and Page left Mueller’s team over revelations they exchanged anti-Trump text messages, including one string in which they talked about stopping Trump from becoming president.
According to the report, Giuliani compared the deletion of the texts to the scandalous erasure of Watergate tapes by then-President Nixon’s secretary.
“It’s actually worse than Rose Mary Woods,” the attorney alleged. “She erased less than 19 minutes of conversation, but the FBI got rid of more than 19,000 messages” and the messages from the time Strzok and Page worked for Mueller are lost forever.
Strzok and Page worked on both the Clinton email investigation and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump campaign members.
Here’s more from the interview:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
When asked whether Mueller should be the last special prosecutor ever appointed by the Justice Department, Giuliani hedged: “I never like to say never but I must say I have great pause after seeing the abuses in this investigation.”
The FBI, he added, still needs to rehabilitate itself from the damage done by missteps in the Russia probe. Giuliani said he believed that “99 percent of the FBI agents” were doing a great job but that a small group of “FBI politicians” had improperly hijacked the Russia probe during fired director James Comey’s tenure.
Giuliani said he is uncertain if President Trump’s pick to head the FBI, Director Christopher Wray, could help right the wrongs from the Russia probe. “I’m uncertain because I haven’t heard anything from him … . The first way you fix problems is by acknowledging them.”
As for Mueller, Giuliani made clear he intends to fight back on every remaining move the special prosecutor makes. The Trump defense team already has drafted a robust document to counter any information Mueller sends to the Justice Department in his final report.