Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)
(CNSNews.com) -- Because of his "long, close relationship" with former FBI Director James Comey, the Special Counsel for Russia Investigation Robert Mueller apparently is in violation of federal law concerning "conflict of interest," and he must resign, said House Representative Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), who serves on the Armed Services Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
In an Aug. 1 statement, Rep. Franks cited federal law (28 CFR 600.7), which apparently "prohibits Mueller from serving if he has a 'conflict of interest.'" Even if there is an "appearance of a conflict," it qualifies as a violation. The Code of Federal Regulations defines a conflict of interest as the following: "a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution" (28 CFR 45.2).
As Franks noted, the "language is mandatory, saying the employee 'shall' disqualify himself -- not 'may' or 'should.'"
"As it has been revealed and reported extensively, Robert Mueller has enjoyed a long, close relationship with former FBI Director James Comey since at least 2003," reads the Franks statement. "Bob Mueller is in clear violation of federal code and must resign to maintain the integrity of the investigation into alleged Russian ties."
James Comey, left, and then-FBI Director Robert Mueller when Comey was appointed
FBI director in September 2013 by President Barack Obama. (UPI.com)
"Those who worked under them have attested he and Jim Comey possess a close friendship, and they have delivered on-the-record statements effusing praise of one another," said Franks.
“No one knows Mr. Mueller’s true intentions, but neither can anyone dispute that he now clearly appears to be a partisan arbiter of justice," said the congressman. "Accordingly, the law is also explicitly clear: he must step down based on this conflict of interest."
“Already, this investigation has become suspect – reports have revealed at least four members of Mueller’s team on the Russia probe donated to support Hillary Clinton for President, as President Trump pointed out," said Franks. "These obviously deliberate partisan hirings do not help convey impartiality.”
“Until Mueller resigns, he will be in clear violation of the law, a reality that fundamentally undermines his role as Special Counsel and attending ability to execute the law," said Franks.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and many news outlets, have reported on the donations made to Democrats by many of the lawyers now working for Mueller. In addition, from the law firm where Mueller worked before becoming Special Counsel, and from where he recruited several attorneys to work with him, the "employees of the firm gave an astounding $326,798 to the Clinton campaign in 2016, while giving a paltry $628 to the Trump campaign," said Gingrich.
"For every $1 this group gave to Trump, it gave $520.37 to Clinton," he said. Mueller has assembled "a political hit squad, plain and simple."
"They will stop at nothing to damage and oppose President Trump and his agenda," said Gingrich. "These people are not seeking truth in their investigations, they're attempting an establishment coup d'état to destroy members of the Trump administration."
Robert Mueller was the FBI director (2001-2013) prior to James Comey becoming FBI director (2013-2017). When Mueller was FBI director under President Bush, Comey was the U.S. deputy attorney general (2003-2005).
President Donald Trump. (FNC)