Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich Sunday cast doubt on special counsel Robert Mueller's ability to remain neutral in his investigation of President Donald Trump's campaign and collusion with Russia, saying fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony has already tainted the investigation.
"Look at what Comey said," Gingrich told "Fox News Sunday," during a panel discussion. "He said 'I deliberately leaked, through an intermediary, to create this counsel,' who happens to be one of his closest friends...the director of the FBI was deliberately leaking in order to create a special counsel, who we are supposed to believe will be this neutral figure. I think this is just nonsense."
Gingrich said it looks to him like there are efforts being set up to go after Trump, "including people who have been reprimanded for hiding from the defense, information into major cases. I think this is going to be a witch hunt."
GOP strategist Karl Rove, also on the panel, argued that it would be a "huge mistake" to try to check reins on Muller, also a former FBI director, as it would "leave the Trump administration under a cloud until the very last day."
Gingrich, though, said he does not trust independent counsels and he thinks "the people Mueller's bringing in are dangerous people."
"Any Republican who thinks this counsel is neutral is crazy," said Gingrich. "It will be like expecting the [Washington] Post or The New York Times to be accurate."
Rove, unlike Gingrich, said he has faith in Mueller, but he also said he does not see anything that a "rational person would say is a violation of the law."
"The president did something that was inappropriate but not illegal," said Rove. "In fact it is legal, the president of the United States can direct him to end the investigation. It's within his authority, and he did not."
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