House Republicans have formally asked leaders of the Senate and House judiciary committees to convene public hearings to bring Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his legal team “out of the shadows” and testify on the Russia meddling probe.
Texas Republican Rep. Brian Babin, who began drafting the letter and gathering signatures over the summer, apparently has sent it — with the support of 18 House colleagues.
The Oct. 13-dated letter was sent to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va.
In the letter, Babin asks that one or both committees hold one or more hearings with Mueller and his team, while acknowledging that some questions regarding sensitive information from the case should not be addressed.
However, he argues that Americans deserve information and accountability because, “They are, after all, paying for it.”
“This team has sweeping authority and an open-ended mission, yet they are allowed to operate largely in secret,” the letter states.
Co-signers on the letter include Reps. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., and Trent Franks, R-Ariz.
Mueller’s team has for roughly five months been conducting the investigation into Russian inteference and possible collusion with Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Babin’s office shared the letter with Fox News on Tuesday, one day after Trump again denied any such accusations.
“There’s been absolutely no collusion,” the president said Monday at a Rose Garden press conference. “They ought to get to the end of [the investigation] because the American people are sick of it.”
Trump also suggested the probe is an excuse for Democrats losing last year’s White House race.
Babin, a two-term congressman, argues in the four-paragraph letter that every nominee for U.S. attorney must be vetted and confirmed by the Senate. However, Mueller and his legal team — “who are arguably just as empowered” — have given Congress no such opportunity, he writes, while raising concerns about “possible conflicts” and “political bias.”
Several members of Mueller’s team have given to campaigns or political action committees associated with Democratic politicians like Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.
Mueller, a former FBI director, was appointed in May after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the probe.
Mueller’s probe has reportedly moved into looking into the financial records of Trump and members of his campaign team, including those of former campaign manager Paul Manafort, whose home was raided by FBI agents looking for related documents.
Fox News’ Joseph Weber contributed to this report.