Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hatch, Lee Praise Selection of Special Investigator For Russia Probe

Vekeo screenshot
Sen. Mike Lee fields questions about the latest developments in the investigation of Russia's alleged ties to President Trump during an online town hall May 17, 2017.

Members of Utah’s Congressional delegation are praising the selection of former FBI director Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, and its possible ties to President Trump’s campaign.

Both Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Jason Chaffetz Tweeted approval of the choice on Wednesday shortly after it was announced. Hatch said he commended the Department of Justice for “bringing in an independent voice to help bring clarity to this situation.”

Utah Sen. Mike Lee also welcomed the selection in remarks during an online town hall with constituents.

“And from what I know of former director Mueller, he’s an upstanding citizen and wonderful law enforcement talent, and someone in whom I have great confidence," he said. "And, yes, he’ll have my support — unabashedly, without qualification."

Lee fielded several questions from Utahns on Trump’s abrupt dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey last week, and newer revelations that the president asked Comey to call off his investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Asked if he would support impeachment if the independent investigation revealed Trump abused his power, Sen. Lee said he’ll "follow the facts where they lead."


"I'll do everything within my power to make sure the system of checks and balances and the system of separation of powers within the federal government is upheld — and to make sure that no one person abuses power or is able to abuse the Constitution," he said.

Utah’s all-GOP delegation has tread carefully with the daily barrage of news reports about what led to Trump’s sudden dismissal of Comey.

Appearing in back-to-back cable news shows Wednesday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz said he wants Comey to answer questions before the House Committee on Oversight that he chairs. He’s scheduled a hearing for next Wednesday, but has yet to confirm Comey’s attendance.

Chaffetz also sent a letter to acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe requesting "all memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” detailing any communication between Comey and Trump. Chaffetz said he’s prepared to subpoena the records if necessary.  

Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
KUER is listener-supported public radio. Support this work by making a donation today.