Why Did Robert Mueller Choose Not to Tell Americans that the Dossier was False?

Former special counsel Robert Mueller listens to committee members give their opening remarks before he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

By the time then-FBI Director James Comey sat before Congress on March 20, 2017, he knew that most of the claims made in the dossier were false. We learned definitively from the IG report that the FBI had a very good idea that the information was unreliable in January 2017 after their first interview with Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source. By March, they knew it had been fabricated.

Yet when asked directly if the FBI had been able to verify any of the information in the dossier, Comey said, “I’m not gonna comment on that.”

By the time the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation had been handed off to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017, the FBI knew, without a doubt that the dossier was a collection of lies. It’s hard to imagine the FBI kept that information from Mueller’s team. Even if, for whatever unfathomable reason they had, it wouldn’t have taken long for the Mueller team to learn for themselves. Mueller chose not to renew the warrant to spy on Carter Page after June, so they had to have known by then the information was false.

Given this knowledge, the Wall Street Journal editorial staff ask an obvious question? Why did the special counsel not tell America that Christopher Steele’s information was false?
The editors write:

Rather than take a hard look at it, Team Mueller made a deliberate choice to tiptoe around it. In his opening statement to Congress when he testified this July, Mr. Mueller declared he would not address “matters related to the so-called Steele dossier,” which he said were out of his purview.

This makes no sense. The Steele dossier was central to obtaining the Page warrant, and the leaks about the dossier fanned two years of media theories about Russian collusion that was one reason Mr. Mueller was appointed as special counsel. Mr. Mueller owed the public an explanation of how much of the dossier could be confirmed or repudiated.

It was a lie of omission rather than commission, but a lie nonetheless.

The Mueller report sidestepped the issue. Nowhere in the document does it state the dossier has been proven. But neither are we told that it had been debunked two years before the report had been written. Keeping this crucial information from the public allowed liberals to continue spewing their Russian collusion narrative. Having this knowledge would have ended the partisan debate on an issue which has divided Americans so bitterly.

Of course, it’s always possible that Mueller merely “acted” feeble during his testimony before Congress on July 24, 2019 in order to avoid future accountability. However, it appeared to most of us that his condition was real.

This leads us to believe that Mueller’s “pit bull,” his deputy, the rabid anti-Trumper, Andrew Weissmann, was actually in charge of the investigation as well as the final report.

The editors point out that DOJ official Bruce Ohr had briefed Weissman early on that the dossier was opposition research and that “Steele hated Mr. Trump.”

They conclude that Mr. Mueller’s dodge on the “Steele dossier—and Mr. Weissmann’s partisanship—vindicates our view from 2017 that Mueller was the wrong man to be special counsel. On the evidence in the Horowitz report, the special counsel team had to know the truth about the Steele dossier and false FBI claims to the FISA court, but they chose to look the other way.”

I would add that John Durham needs to question Andrew Weissman, under oath.

Elizabeth Vaughn
Writer at RedState
Former financial consultant, options trader
MBA, Mom of three grown children
Email Elizabeth at
Read more by Elizabeth Vaughn