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Russia Probe Needs To Be Thorough And Bipartisan, Rep. Hurd Says

May 19, 2017
Originally published on May 19, 2017 8:17 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Rumors are swirling about who the president might pick to head the FBI. And that's where we're at. We've got Congressman Will Hurd on the line. He is a Republican from Texas. He sits on the House intelligence and oversight committees. Congressman, thanks for being with us.

WILL HURD: Absolutely. And we still have 17 more hours of this week. So...

MARTIN: I know, right?

HURD: (Laughter).

MARTIN: How are you - how are you feeling at the end of this long week?

HURD: Well, for me this has always been about - this investigation into Russia needs to be thorough. It needs to be bipartisan. Everybody needs to show patience and not jump to conclusions. And I think with the selection of Bob Mueller as the special investigator, I think that is a good move. The fact that these memos - these Comey memos are going to likely be turned over to Congress next week and we'll have a chance to hear from former FBI Director Comey on those memos, I think this is the process to start finding out the truth and to figure out wherever the truth leads us.

MARTIN: So you think that's going to happen. James Comey is still going to testify. He's going to come to Capitol Hill.

HURD: Yes. Yes, I do. I think it could happen as early as the 24 of...

MARTIN: This is something that your committee in particular has been pushing for.

HURD: Absolutely, on oversight and government reform. So - so I sit on oversight and government reform, which is chaired by Jason Chaffetz. And then I'm also on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is doing its own investigation of the Russian meddling in our in our election.

MARTIN: So do you have any concerns, though, that now there's a special counsel, that the former head of the FBI, Robert Mueller is leading this special counsel? Are you concerned that it's going to compete with the Hill investigations?

HURD: No, absolutely not. And I've been saying since the beginning that the investigation being done by the FBI and ultimately now overseen by Mueller is a criminal investigation. And this is - Director Comey, when he was still the head of the FBI, said this was where they were going. And Bob Mueller is going to be deciding where that investigation goes.

What the House intelligence committee is doing - in a bipartisan manner, by the way - is we're looking at what actual cyber tools did the Russians use to try to influence our elections. What was the government's response? And what should the government's response have been? We're also looking at were Americans involved in working and collaborating with the Russians and then also this issue of leaks. And so...

MARTIN: The broad scope.

HURD: It's broad-scope. And these things should be done in parallel. But it all starts with the criminal investigation coming to some kind of end before all the other investigations can be completely finished.

MARTIN: Let me ask you this. Yesterday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told the Senate that he knew former Director Comey would be fired before he wrote that memo that the White House said was the reason that they fired Comey. So that means the story that the White House was putting out there wasn't right, then it was right. I mean, are you concerned about how this was handled?

HURD: Well, I think - I think most people are troubled with the events. But now we're at that point because we have this special investigator. Let's get to the truth. What did everybody know, when and where? And let's make sure we do it in a way that the American people can have faith in the investigation so that justice can prevail.

MARTIN: Just briefly, Joe Lieberman being floated as the top candidate to go to the FBI, what do you make of that?

HURD: I think we need to prioritize the next FBI director as someone who has legal and law enforcement background in order to take on this tremendous role.

MARTIN: And you would say he does not. Representative Will Hurd, a Republican of Texas. Thank you so much for your time this morning, Congressman.

HURD: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.