This post is by Caitlin Oprysko from Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories
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President Donald Trump kept up his calls for investigations into his political opponents on Monday, claiming in anticipation of the expected release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report that it was actually Democrats and “dirty cops” who were guilty of collusion and obstruction of justice rather than himself.
“Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction,” he wrote in a tweet. “These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!”
Attorney General William Barr is expected to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report on Russian election interference any day. Democrats in Congress have thus far been unsatisfied with Barr’s pledge to release a redacted version of the report, instead demanding the full report as well as the underlying documentation.
Barr’s assesment that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice, even Mueller did not reach a conclusion on that question, has stirred further outcry from Democrats. So too have reports that the attorney general’s summary of the Mueller report was seen by members of the special counsel’s team as overly favorable to the president.
And though Barr quoted Mueller’s report as specifically not exonerating the president, Trump and his allies have declared him innocent of all allegations against him. They have since moved on to amplify their calls that the Justice Department now investigate the origins of the Russia probe, claiming the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign was politically motivated and grounded in questionable evidence.
Barr was grilled last week on any discrepancies between the Mueller report and his own summary of it by congressional appropriators. In his testimony, he appeared to back Trump up on his claims that his 2016 campaign was spied on.
“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr told members of a Senate Appropriations subcommittee during a hearing about the DOJ budget. “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”
While the president and his supporters have raged against his investigators from the beginning of the Russia investigation, he has also sporadically claimed without evidence that Clinton, his 2016 opponent, and the Democratic National Committee are truly guilty of collusion and obstruction of justice.
Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine