At the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference on Friday night, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) launched an attack on Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
Gohmert’s remarks to Religious Right activists seem to have kicked off a campaign by Trump allies to discredit the widely respected Mueller. On Fox News Sunday, Newt Gingrich said that it is “nonsense” to consider Mueller a neutral figure and called his investigation a “witch hunt.” Evidence that an anti-Mueller campaign was gaining strength came from Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy, a friend of President Trump, who said on Monday after visiting the White House that Trump was considering firing Mueller. Ruddy said he thinks that would be “a significant mistake.”
Gohmert, whom Road to Majority attendees treated like a rock star, noted that attendees returning from a dinner break for the evening session walked by signs on easels featuring Mueller’s photo. By coincidence, Mueller was being honored in the same hotel with the William Oliver Baker Award from the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
Gohmert criticized Mueller for having started a five-year “up or out” program at the FBI. “I believe it is because he wanted nothing but yes-people in the FBI.” According to Gohmert, the policy meant that people in supervisory positions in the field would either have to leave after five years or come to work in Washington as a “minion” and a “robot.”
Gohmert also slammed Mueller for overseeing a purge of anti-Muslim documents from FBI training materials. The move to stop instructors from using some inflammatory materials produced by anti-Muslim activists was portrayed by then-Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) as evidence that President Obama was enforcing “Islamic speech codes.”
“This man had the FBI training materials purged,” Gohmert said. “He did a lot of damage and a lot of Americans are dead as a result of the purging of their training materials.”
“His policies got Americans killed all over the country,” said Gohmert, “because he started an outreach program to the Muslim Brotherhood, to CAIR. He and his FBI gathered evidence for 20 years that showed that people involved with some of the organizations that he ultimately coddled were responsible for plans to bring down the United States.”
“Thank you Mr. Mueller,” he said. “You’ve gotten a lot of people killed. And I hope and pray that your time as special prosecutor ends very, very quickly before you do more national damage.”
Gohmert said he had initially been hopeful about Mueller’s replacement at the FBI, James Comey, until “we began to see the handwriting on the wall.” He said Comey is “good friends” with Mueller. “Clearly they don’t like Donald J. Trump,” he said. “Clearly they would like to see his administration fail. And there’ll be information that I expect to be coming out in the next few months that will show the depth of the disdain that they had.”
Gohmert said that he believes Comey’s close-to-the-election announcement about emails found on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop—widely considered to have played a role in Trump’s defeat of Hillary Clinton—were actually an effort to help her. He said he still wants to know if a rumor going around last October was true:
…that there were FBI agents that found the tens of thousands on Hillary Clinton’s email server—not her server but Anthony Weiner and Huma [Abedin] Weiner’s laptop and they realized there’s classified stuff here, there’s evidence of crimes here. The rumor was, that not only that, but that some of them said you’ve got to reopen the case against Hillary Clinton because the evidence is here showing a crime, and if you don’t reopen the case we’re going to resign, we’re going to have a press conference and we’re going to be able to say that the FBI director, Comey, is shielding Hillary Clinton, protecting her, and refusing the allow the evidence. That was the rumor and it seemed to have substance to it and I want to know if it’s true because the Democrats of course got upset that he announced just nine, ten days, whatever it was, before the election, that he was reopening, and I told one the media then. They said, “Well, it really looks like he’s trying to help the Republicans.” And I said, “We’ll know a day or two before the election, because if a day or two before the election, when they have not had adequate time to go through all of the email on those laptops, if he comes out and says, ‘We checked and everything’s clean, everything looks good,’ then we’ll know this was to protect Hillary Clinton not to hurt her, and it will have protected her.”
Gohmert’s speech also touched on other favorite Religious Right themes: that Christians are under attack in the U.S. and that God sent President Trump to give us one more chance to stave off the divine judgment we have earned.
Gohmert seemed delighted that his efforts to defend Trump have not gone unnoticed in the White House. He said that the previous Sunday, when he was driving home from an appearance on Fox News, he got a call from Trump on his cell phone. “He says, ‘Louie! I’ve told everybody around here that you said more in ten minutes than my Harvard lawyers have all said all year long!’”