The Justice Department appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the federal investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. But former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom said Mueller should focus on the other investigations.
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“This is a foreign intelligence investigation and collusion isn’t actually a crime,” Kallstrom said during an interview on the FOX Business Network. “The fifth column certainly is doing a good job of keeping it the talk of the town, but what about the thousands of people that were apparently unmasked? That lost their Fourth Amendment rights? A good portion of them probably. What about the leaks? What is going on with these other investigations?”
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice has reportedly declined a request to testify before the Senate on allegations of unmasking Trump transition officials, and in Kallstrom’s opinion, “the unmasking could be one of the biggest scandals ever in the United States.”
Despite this, Mueller, who served as FBI director for the Bush and Obama administrations from 2001 to 2013, could fold these investigations into the Russia probe, he said.
“The language gives him the leeway to go there…those things really need to be investigated. They are 100 times more important than whether or not the Russians colluded in any way,” he said. “All these administrations that come and go talked to groups before they get in…whether or not any of that collusion is a crime, I think, is something the Democrats want to talk about for the next four years. This is probably a good thing, but Mueller has to get it done and he has to get it done in a timely fashion.”
Even so, the act of special investigations could go on for years, he said.
“These things have a way of never ending and that would be pathetic in my view, but, on the other side the Republicans seem so inept to actually get together and deal with the realities here,” Kallstrom added.