FILE PHOTO: FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Robert Mueller. Thomson Reuters

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida is calling for Robert Mueller to resign as the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.
  • Gaetz cites a lack of charges relating to a 2010 uranium deal approved by US agencies under Mueller's watch as the reason.

WASHINGTON — A group of conservative Republican lawmakers introduced a resolution on Friday calling for Robert Mueller to recuse himself as the special counsel investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 US election.

Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Andy Biggs of Arizona, and Louie Gohmert of Texas say Mueller should step down because he was the FBI director in 2010, when US agencies approved a deal for a Russian nuclear-energy firm to buy Uranium One, a Canadian energy company. The deal required approval because Uranium One had significant uranium operations in the US.

Gaetz says that despite evidence of corruption, Mueller's FBI did not bring any charges related the deal and that he therefore should recuse himself from the current investigation, which has expanded to include whether President Donald Trump's campaign team colluded with Moscow to influence the outcome of the election.

"These deeply troubling events took place when Mr. Mueller was the Director of the FBI. As such, his impartiality is hopelessly compromised," Gaetz said in a statement. "He must step down immediately."

Many of Gaetz's Republican colleagues, however, have previously expressed support for Mueller and his investigation. Senate Republicans have even introduced bills to create a barrier between Trump and Mueller in the event the president attempts to fire him.

Some conservatives have latched on to the Uranium One deal recently after a report tangentially tied the deal to the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, who was the secretary of state at the time, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.