CNN: Quigley Discusses Mueller Investigation Latest & U.S. Response to Jamal Khashoggi’s Murder
BLITZER: Let's get more on this. Mike Quigley of Illinois is joining us. He’s a Member of the intelligence committee. Congressman, thanks for joining us.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. Busy day.
BLIZTER: It appears that a source is pushing back on the idea that Robert Mueller is face anything sort of pressure on the timeline of his investigation. What do you make of that?
QUIGLEY: Yeah, I think that the special counsel has felt pressure all along. I don't believe that there is no pressure. Obviously, we've seen the administration pressure beyond comprehension. The Justice Department, the FBI, I believe that Mr. Mueller absolutely believes he has a time pressure. Who knows what takes place after the midterms. We've heard many Republican Congressional leaders suggest that, “Well, he shouldn't fire Mr. Sessions or anybody else until after the midterms.” Hey, if it's the wrong thing to do, it's the wrong thing to do now or after the midterms. Let's remember, the Watergate investigation took at least 28 months from the day of the break-in to the time that the president left. This is a far more complicated investigation, and frankly a far more important one.
BLITZER: The Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has spoken out, strongly defending the Mueller investigation, but he and the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, might not necessarily be all that safe after the midterm elections in 19 days. Do you think Mueller needs to wrap up his work to get ahead of President Trump's possibly replacing the people who will decide what happens with Mueller’s final report?
QUIGLEY: I think that's exactly what Mr. Mueller feels. I think it's unfortunate. It's a great concern. I’d like to think that he will have more time afterwards. I think some of this will depend on the outcome of the elections. This should be what the American public is considering when they go to the polling place. There is some real truth to the old adage that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Republicans had not shown the responsibility to investigate this White House and the Russia investigation thoroughly. The House Republicans have shut down the investigation. So be in mind of this, folks, this stuff really matters. Republicans haven't shown the willingness to truthfully find out what took place.
BLITZER: The former Vice President, Joe Biden, said he hopes Democrats don't try to impeach President Trump. Do you agree?
QUIGLEY: I think he's absolutely right. I’ve told my colleagues all along, if we're telling the Republicans to let Mr. Mueller complete his investigation before we even consider such discussion we should do the very same. Let this investigation complete its course, and that includes the House investigation opening up again, because it has different purposes, different stated purposes. And at that, when the report is done and we look at both and we see what the details are, then if it is appropriate, we'll talk about such things. But right now let's let this investigation take its course. Let the American public find out what actually happened.
BLITZER: Let's turn to the ongoing questions surrounding Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and apparent murder. Secretary Pompeo says the Saudi investigation will be complete, thorough and transparent. Why do you believe the Trump Administration is relying on the Saudis rather than U.S. intelligence agencies?
QUIGLEY: I have no idea why the administration nor the President is acting as sort of a quasi-legal counsel for the Saudi government. Let's remember what we're talking about here: this is a crime scene. For Mr. Pompeo to suggest to the President, “let's give them a few more days to investigate this,” what he is really saying is, “let's give them a few more days to clean up the crime scene.” If anyone trusts the Saudis to investigate this murder that took place on their own property, they're deluding themselves. I think that the Senate foreign relations committee invoking the thing Magnitsky Act is an appropriate decision at this point in time. Let there be a full scale investigation, not by the Saudis and not even by the White House. This should be an international investigation and Congress should play a role. And then we should determine the proper punishment, including sanctions. It's also appropriate to talk about the role in Yemen at this time too.
BLITZER: Congressman, I need you to stand by. I got to take a quick break. I want to ask you about other news developing including new allegations that you are raising along with other Democrats that President Trump intervened inappropriately in the decision whether or not to move the FBI headquarters to protect one of his hotels here in Washington. We'll be right back.