WSJ Editorial Board Demands Mueller be Investigated; Democrats Face Consequences for Collusion

The Wall Street Journal's editorial board called this week for a full Russia investigation — not into President Donald Trump's campaign, but into the Democratic Party, the FBI, and the special counsel Robert Mueller.

"It turns out that Russia has sown distrust in the US political system — aided and abetted by the Democratic Party, and perhaps the FBI," the editorial began. "This is an about-face from the dominant media narrative of the last year, and it requires a full investigation."

The editorial board argued that a Washington Post report published Tuesday "revealed" that Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired the Perkins Coie law firm, which in turn retained the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and funded a now infamous dossier containing salacious allegations about Trump's ties to Russia. The dossier was compiled by a former British spy, Christopher Steele, who has several deep Russian sources.

"Strip out the middlemen, and it appears that Democrats paid for Russians to compile wild allegations about a US presidential candidate," the editorial said. "Did someone say 'collusion'?"

Previous reports have said Democrats took over funding for the opposition research from anti-Trump Republicans after Trump won the GOP nomination. On Friday, lawyers for The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative-leaning publication, told the House Intelligence Committee that the outlet originally funded the dossier's production.

The FBI also reportedly reached an agreement before Election Day to continue paying Steele for his work, though the plan was terminated after BuzzFeed published the dossier in January.

The Journal's editorial board said revelations about who had financed the Steele dossier indicated that the "FBI's role in Russia's election interference must now be investigated."

"It is no slur against Mr. Mueller's integrity to say that he lacks the critical distance to conduct a credible probe of the bureau he ran for a dozen years," The Journal's editorial board said. "He could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest."

It said the revelations about who funded the Steele dossier posed a "troubling question" regarding the FBI's involvement in what it called a "Russian disinformation campaign."

"Did the dossier trigger the FBI probe of the Trump campaign, and did Mr. Comey or his agents use it as evidence to seek wiretapping approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Trump campaign aides?" the editorial said.

Nevertheless, The Journal's editorial board called for Congress to home in on the FBI's role in producing the dossier and to reinstate the embattled Rep. Devin Nunes as chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Nunes recused himself from the panel's Russia investigation after it emerged that he briefed the White House on classified information without telling his committee first.

Despite recusing himself, Nunes quickly began conducting his own investigation into "unmaskings" by the Obama administration and the credibility of the dossier, and he subpoenaed Fusion GPS to appear before the committee.