The appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to lead an investigation into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russian officials will not bring an end to other investigations probing the same potential ties, lawmakers said Wednesday.
“We’ve got a job to do, we’ve got an investigation to run and a report to were,” said Rep. K. Michael Conaway, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. “And if we find criminal things … we’ll definitely refer those to Justice. But the importance of our investigation I don’t think is diminished in the least.”
“I don’t believe it’ll have an impact on us at all,” he added.
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee from both parties also vowed their investigation would go forward. Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) called Mueller’s appointment a “positive development.”
“The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will continue its own investigation and to the extent any deconfliction is required, we will engage with Director Mueller and our expectation is that he will engage with the Committee as well,” Burr and Warner said in a statement.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) applauded the selection of Mueller as a fair and impartial investigator “with impeccable credentials.” He said the House Oversight Committee would continue with its probe, noting that his invitation to recently ousted FBI director James Comey still stands. He also pointed out that Comey and Mueller had a previous working relationship.
“We’re still moving full steam ahead,” Chaffetz said, according to The Washington Post’s Carol D. Leonnig. “People on both sides of the aisle should take comfort in his objectivity. But Comey used to work for Muller. So we will still want to see the memos and I’m still waiting to hear from director and confirm his appearance at the hearing.”
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) issued a statement endorsing Mueller’s appointment and noting that the House investigation will move ahead.
“My priority has been to ensure thorough and independent investigations are allowed to follow the facts wherever they may lead,” the statememt said. “That is what we’ve been doing here in the House.”
“The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent with this goal, and I welcome his role at the Department of Justice,” the statement added. “The important ongoing bipartisan investigation in the House will also continue.”
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), echoed Chaffetz’s words and called Mueller’s appointment “a very positive step” and “a very solid choice.” But he shot down any suggestion that it will cause the House Intelligence Committee to downgrade its investigation.
“I don’t think there was any presumption that the House and Senate committee intelligence investigation are going to be impact in the sense of not needing to be as aggressive or forward-leaning,” Schiff told reporters. “I think we’re going to do exactly what we’re doing.”
Schiff added that Mueller taking the lead will help the public accept the results of the investigation.