Rep. Nunes Fears Mueller Is 'Back-Channeling' With Democrats As He Prepares for Hearings

Susan Jones | July 16, 2019 | 10:21am EDT
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Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) is ranking member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

( - Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, says he's "a little bit concerned" that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is working with Democrats to "create a narrative" for his July 24th congressional hearings.

Democrats on the House Judiciary and intelligence committees have called Mueller to separate hearings on the same da next week, hoping that Mueller will help them bolster their case for impeaching President Trump.

Those hearings originally were planned for July 17 -- tomorrow -- and the delay worries Nunes:

"I am a little bit concerned that Mueller doesn't purposely try to create a narrative and that he's not working with the Democrats already. Being that this was postponed a week, there's got to be a reason for it," Nunes told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night.

I fear what's going on right now is that Mueller's working with a lot of his staff who are back-channeling to the Democrats. And so it is very possible that Mueller is going to have a few little sound bites that are going to give the Democrats exactly what they want.

And so when it comes to Republicans asking questions, I think what we need to do is stick to the facts of the case and not allow Mueller time to either pontificate and embellish all the time or embellish things that he may want to embellish. We need to ask very specific questions. We don't have to defend the president. The president doesn't need defending because the president never colluded with the Russians.

And I've been saying this the last week, and I want people to focus on this -- this investigation was not about collusion, it wasn't about obstruction of justice. It was about setting obstruction of justice traps so that for the better part of two years, they were hoping the president would fall into it.

Appearing with Nunes, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, said Republicans need to ask Mueller "short, sweet questions."

"Allow John Ratcliffe and Doug Collins to ask the majority of the questions if you could, because they've got to be direct, on point. Don't let Mueller get out of his lane but ask all those questions about the things that Mueller didn't do and where he didn't spend his time and try to get him on the record as to what he was doing. But if they're not short sweet simple answers, you've only got 5 minutes,” Chaffetz said. “So you better stay within your lane and ask direct questions."

Nunes refused to say exactly what he'll ask Mueller. "But I'll give you areas of interest," he told  Hannity.

Nunes noted that the Judiciary Committee will question Mueller before the intelligence committee does. "So we're going to have to watch to see what comes of the Judiciary Committee. Then, we're going to have to ask very short, simple questions ...and I first want to make sure that we ask the questions of, you know, how did this originate? Did you actually go back and look at Fusion GPS? Glenn Simpson? And what happened before July 31st, do you know anything about that?

"Those of the types of questions that need to be asked."

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