As the political world braces for news from special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump all but taunted the prosecutor Friday by saying his investigation is unnecessary.
“This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime,” Trump claimed in a series of tweets….
Trump charged there should have been no Mueller investigation — and therefore no Mueller report — “if” there was no crime when Mueller was appointed and “if” it was based on information collected by his political enemies. The Justice Department appointed the special counsel in 2017 after investigators developed strong evidence that Russia had sought to help Trump win the presidency obtained an array of clues that people in his campaign could have participated in that effort.
Mueller’s team has convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, and other Trump associates on charges ranging from financial fraud to lying to investigators.
A federal appeals court in Washington and four district court judges have rejected challenges to Mueller’s appointment and his investigation.
Trump’s critique of the Mueller inquiry comes as two of the president’s former top aides – Flynn and deputy campaign manager Rick Gates – acknowledged in court papers this week that they continue to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation.
The president, his attorneys, and others expect Mueller to report something soon on his investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election by hacking the emails of Democratic Party officials and pushing fake news about Trump opponent Hillary Clinton.
Prosecutors are also looking into whether Trump sought to obstruct the investigation. Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has testified that Trump implicitly encouraged him to provide false information to congressional investigators.