Fortenberry, Smith say Mueller should wrap up collusion probe

July 24, 2018

Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Adrian Smith are calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to wrap up his investigation into possible collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Their statements came as Trump argued for an end to the probe in a series of White House tweets.

Although it is clear that “Russia did meddle in our election system,” Fortenberry wrote in a column on Monday, “the president has forcefully denied there was collusion with Russia during the election.”

“A House investigative body has affirmed this,” the 1st District congressman said.

“Hopefully, the Mueller investigation properly concludes quickly and provides clarity on the point — which is its primary mandate — and restores the nation’s confidence.”

In an earlier weekend statement, Smith said any evidence of collusion should be made public or that part of the investigation “should be brought to a swift end.”

The investigation has “turned into a self-perpetuating free-for-all with no end in sight,” the 3rd District congressman said.

The special counsel’s investigation is centered on the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the presidential election, with the possibility of links to the Trump campaign emerging as part of that investigation.

Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee have filed a report stating there was no collusion with the Trump campaign, but Democratic members said the committee failed to adequately investigate that issue and rejected the majority’s conclusions.

“It has become clear Russian operatives conducted a coordinated effort to delegitimize our 2016 elections through a sophisticated hacking operation and online propaganda disguised as American dissent,” Smith wrote.

Ongoing investigations into Russia’s actions “should be conducted separately, and with vigor, unclouded by assertions of collusion,” he said.

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