The transition of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's "administrative review" to a criminal probe conducted by prosecutor John Durham shows "there was criminal intent" in the investigation of the Trump campaign, according to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to Newsmax TV.
"The best evidence we have that there will be criminal process is that the Durham probe transitioned from an administrative review into a criminal investigation," Gaetz told Tuesday's "Newsmax Now." "That just didn't happen by accident.
"There was some catalyst, some accelerating event, that clearly showed that there was criminal intent in play in the origins of the Russia probe."
Gaetz, one of President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders, told host John Bachman "it's about time" officials from former President Barack Obama's administration face "consequences that they so richly deserve."
"This is precisely what Jim Jordan and I have been saying for years now, and it's about time the people in the Obama White House, who leveraged our allies to do things that would have been unlawful for our government to do, face the consequences that they so richly deserve," Gaetz said.
Last month, Gaetz was asked to leave the closed session about an hour into Fiona Hill's private testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. Gaetz is not a member of any of the three House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry and Gaetz told reporters the House parliamentarian said he could not attend.
Hill is the British-born former senior director for European and Russian Affairs on Trump's National Security Council who left her White House job shortly before the July 25 call but remained on the payroll into August.
Hill, scheduled to testify Thursday, was reportedly told by former National Security Adviser John Bolton to go to lawyers because Bolton said he did not want to be "part of this drug deal" of Amb. Gordon Sondland and White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney were "cooking up."
Sondland will testify Wednesday.
"It is disconcerting to me that Amb. Sondland has also been all over the map," Gaetz told Bachman. "You have his contemporaneous accounts where he's testing that there's 'no quid pro quo,' then you have his live testimony, then you have the changes he's made to his live testimony.
"I don't quite know what to make of Amb. Gordon Sondland yet because he seems to have recounted different conflicting versions of events."
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