A Republican congressman finds it hard to believe that drunken boasting by a former Trump campaign adviser was the catalyst to the FBI’s Russia investigation.
Florida Rep. Ron DeSantis is skeptical about a New York Times report last week that claimed that a drunk George Papadopoulos triggered the Russia probe and not the Trump-Russia dossier from former British spy Christopher Steele.
DeSantis recalled that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “hemmed and hawed” but did not give a direct answer when he was asked by the Florida lawmaker under oath about what sparked the probe.
“Yet there are some people either at the FBI or DOJ who have no problem leaking that to the New York Times,” he told Fox News’ on Tuesday. “That strikes me as an attempt by some people in the agency to deflect from the dossier.”
According to the Times report, Papadopoulos had been drinking heavily when he allegedly told an Australian diplomat in 2016 that he knew that Russia had “political dirt” on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
“We are going to get those answers to the dossier, but clearly people are trying to say, ‘Do not worry about the dossier. There are these other things,'” DeSantis, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said. “I’m not sure the Papadopoulos explanation is really any better. In fact, it is probably thinner than even the dossier. Some guy at a bar drinking?”
The Florida Republican admitted that he still has many unanswered questions about the FBI investigation, including when the dossier was obtained by the government and if it was paid for as well as how the information in it was used.
“I think if the answers were innocuous, we would have gotten them a long time ago,” DeSantis noted.
He added that he still needs more information on senior Justice Department official, Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, the same research firm Steele worked for.
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