Bias Allegations In Robert Mueller's Probe Offer Trump Allies A New Counterargument

A series of bias allegations and media errors related to the Russia probe this week offered President Trump’s allies the opportunity to push back on a controversy that has begun to ensnare members of the president’s inner circle.

White House officials received a gift from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team this week in the form of revelations about questionable behavior exhibited by an investigator and an attorney attached to the Russia probe.

A former member of Mueller’s outfit, investigator Peter Strzok, received a demotion this summer after he allegedly sent anti-Trump, pro-Hillary Clinton text messages to his mistress, who was also an FBI employee. Strzok played a prominent role in the bureau’s Clinton email investigation before he joined Mueller’s team, multiple outlets reported this week.

A prosecutor presently on Mueller’s legal team sent an email to former acting Attorney General Sally Yates in late January praising her decision to defy Trump’s travel ban executive order, according to documents released to conservative group Judicial Watch this week.

But, the White House remained largely silent on the string of developments, leaving its allies and supporters to begin prosecuting the case against Mueller’s investigation.

“Outside of tweets and a comment here and there, in most cases, the push back won't come with the White House's fingerprints directly on it,” said Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist.

“It’s one of these things where it’s tough, because you don’t know what the scope of the entire probe is and tomorrow could be something totally new, but you do have to keep a narrative going, to be distrustful of what you hear in terms of a lot of news coverage of it.”

O’Connell said allies of the president appear to have borrowed a page from “Bill Clinton’s handbook,” referring to the former president’s efforts to delegitimize the special counsel who investigated his own activities in the 1990s. Clinton and his wife worked to paint the special counsel, Kenneth Starr, as an element of the “vast right-wing conspiracy” they believed Republicans created to destroy the Clinton presidency.

Read more from Sarah Westwood at The Washington Examiner

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