During an interview this week, former FBI assistant director James Kallstrom asserted that special counsel Robert Mueller should have never been tapped to investigate alleged Russian collusion given the “huge conflict of interest” he brought to the table.
“Bob Mueller should have never been offered nor accepted the job as special counsel as he has a huge conflict of interest,” Kallstrom said to Breitbart. “He should have recused himself.”
Why? For one, Mueller holds concerning ties to former FBI director James Comey, whose actions last spring led to this investigation being launched in the first place, said Kallstron.
As reported by The New York Times in May, after President Donald Trump fired Comey from the FBI earlier that month, Comey leaked a personal memo he had written after a private meeting with the president in February.
In that memo Comey claimed Trump had just asked him to end the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.
It was this claim that precipitated the launch of a special investigation led by a man, Mueller, who himself had previously served as the director of the FBI, and who has long been close with Comey.
Even The Washington Post, a fairly leftist paper not prone to criticizing Mueller or his investigation, acknowledged this relationship earlier this year, writing that Mueller and Comey have “been described as law enforcement twins and ‘brothers in arms.'”
Moreover, at the end of Mueller’s term in 2013, it was Mueller who specifically recommended Comey be chosen to replace him.
“How one maintains detachment in leading a team … in a probe involving one’s close friend and the former bureau for which Mueller served as director goes unexplained,” Breitbart noted, basing its observation on what Kallstron said during his interview.
Another issue at play, Kallstrom argued, is the still-unverified allegation that the FBI had used a phony dossier to obtain a FISA warrant authorizing it to surveil Trump’s presidential campaign.
“If they used the phony dossier as the predicate for the FISA order they obtained, that could be a huge problem,” he said. “If they knew the information was phony, that is a felony. If they did not know it was phony, they were incompetent.”
And it can be assumed that, as someone formerly affiliated with the FBI, Mueller isn’t too keen on potentially tarring its legacy.
“If the surveillance and investigatory methods prove unlawful, Kallstrom notes that this puts Mueller in an awkward position of looking into his close friend and perhaps the bureau that both men once led,” Breitbart pointed out.
Kallstrom added that the way the FBI handled the dossier — allegedly paying for it and then later using the false details contained within to obtain a surveillance warrant — could even potentially qualify as a federal crime.
“This whole matter with the dossier and the investigations that ensued, including FISA surveillance and the unmasking of hundreds of names, in my view, will prove to be violations of the rules set down by the Congress for unmasking, or worse, will be found to be violations of federal law,” he concluded.