A leading US politician asked a former government lawyer if Boris Johnson could have been compromised by an alleged Russian spy.
Republican Congressman Devin Nunes showed a photo of the new UK Prime Minister standing next to Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud, who was accused of being a link between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election campaign.
Nunes, a California Represenative, then asked retired special counsel Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian collusion: ‘What we are trying to figure out here, Mr Mueller, is if our Nato allies or Boris Johnson has been compromised.’
Mueller refused to be drawn on the speculation.
He has refused to answer questions on topics which were not covered by his report into collusion and alleged presidential obstruction, which was completed in March.
There is no suggestion Johnson – officially confirmed as new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on Wednesday afternoon – has done anything wrong.
And the mention of his name during Wednesday’s hearing is likely to further enamor him to President Trump.
The president has long branded Mueller’s investigation a ‘witch hunt’, and claimed today’s committee hearings are a further waste of time.
Mifsud, who has never been charged with any crime, met with Trump campaign worker George Papadopoulos in March 2016.
The meeting came shortly after Papadopoulos was appointed to the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser.
Mifsud is alleged to have met Papadopoulos again in London, and reportedly told the Trump worker that he had ‘dirt’ on Trump’s presidential campaign rival Hillary Clinton.
Papadopoulos admitted lying to the FBI about contacts with Russia during Trump’s presidential campaign in October 2017.
He served 12 days in prison.
Mueller’s investigation cleared President Trump himself of any collusion with Russia.
The former special counsel has refused to exonerate the president of meddling in his probe in a bid to discredit it.
He has spent Wednesday taking questions from the House Judiciary Committee, which oversees US legal processes, and the House Intelligence Committee, which monitors US intelligence agencies.