House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) defended special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday, saying the former FBI head has handled the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election in a non-partisan fashion.
Appearing on the Wisconsin-based radio program, “The Jay Weber Show,” Ryan said any sensible observation of Mueller’s conduct will reveal he’s the same straight shooter he’s been throughout his career.
“I don’t think many people are saying Bob Mueller is a biased partisan. He’s really, sort of, anything but,” Ryan said.
The speaker argued that despite the media firestorm, the federal and congressional probes into potential Russia collusion with officials from the Trump campaign actually “de-politicizes this stuff.”
His words reflect a slightly different sentiment than that of the Trump administration, which feels Mueller’s addition of Trump’s financial and business transactions to the scope of the investigation borders on an abuse of his power. They’re also put off by increased scrutiny of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who reportedly could face criminal charges for money laundering.
However, Paul Ryan sees it all as fair game and feels this isn’t the time to accuse Mueller of an allegiance to the Democrats.
“Remember, Bob Mueller is a Republican who was appointed by a Republican, who served in the Republican administration, who crossed over and stayed on ’til his term ended,” Ryan said. “The point is, we have an investigation in the House, an investigation in the Senate, and a special counsel, which sort of de-politicizes this stuff and gets it out of the political theater, and that is, I think, better to get this off to the side,” the lawmaker continued. “I think the facts will vindicate themselves, and then let’s just go do our jobs.”
Ryan’s comments come as an indirect response to those of Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who said Mueller is on the take from a “band of Democratic donors” on Sunday. The speaker said this is far outside the scope of concern of true rank and file Republicans, who are busy “working on the problems people care about, … their problems.”
Ryan’s comments indicate that there remains Republican leadership that hasn’t lost sight of its supporters’ genuine needs, and understands that they’ll still be there long after the Russia probe is a distant memory.
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