Washington — Andrew Weissmann, a former federal prosecutor who was a top official in special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, said Wednesday he has not been subpoenaed by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting aof the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Weissmann told CBSN that he does not expect to be compelled to turn over information or testimony given the scope of the examination.
“I have not been subpoenaed and I don’t anticipate it,” he said. “But I’m happy to give any information I have. I don’t think, given what I understand he’s looking at, which is the genesis of the Russia investigation, which I was involved in, I don’t suspect that I’m going to have particularly relevant information.”
Durham was selected by Attorney General William Barr in May 2019 to investigate the origins of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” probe, which was later turned over to Mueller and his team. As part of his ongoing review, Durham interviewed former CIA Director John Brennan, while former FBI Director James Comey said last month he had not been contacted by Durham.
Weissmann has authored a book, “Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation,” that hit shelves Tuesday and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the 22-month investigation, which detailed Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Mueller and his team identified 10 instances in which President Trump may have obstructed justice, but declined to determine whether the president had done so.
In response to charges about the probe made by Weissmann in his book, Mueller issued a rare statement saying that while it’s not surprising members of his team sometimes disagreed, “it is disappointing to hear criticism of our team based on incomplete information.”
“The office’s mission was to follow the facts and to act with integrity,” Mueller said. “That is what we did, knowing that our work would be scrutinized from all sides. When important decisions had to be made, I made them. I did so as I have always done, without any interest in currying favor or fear of the consequences. I stand by those decisions and by the conclusions of our investigation.”
In addition to criticisms from Weissmann, the special counsel’s team is under scrutiny from two Republican Senate committee chairmen after documents released by the Justice Department showed phones belonging to members of Mueller’s were wiped during the Russia probe, in many instances because passwords were forgotten.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson of Wisconsin asked Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray for more information on steps taken to recover the material cleared from the phones.
When asked about the phones being wiped, Weissmann indicated the Justice Department has backup systems, so the information at issue should have been stored on computers.
“I don’t think we lost any data whatsoever, and in fact, one of the things that I detail in the book is, far from not wanting to keep information, we were very concerned that if we were fired, that our information would disappear,” he said. “So we did everything we could to make sure that our records existed and existed in numerous locations in the Department of Justice as well as in the court. So this is one where we had every reason to make sure everything existed for posterity.”
Weissmann questioned why the Justice Department was not coming forward with the data from the phones.