Trump set to fight Mueller with alternative facts
WASHINGTON— U.S. President Donald Trump said Friday that his lawyers are preparing a “major Counter Report” in response to expected findings from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible co-ordination between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Trump confirmed the plan in a spate of angry morning tweets in which he also took fresh aim at Mueller and his legal team, accusing them of conflicts of interest and overzealous prosecutions that have “wrongly destroyed people’s lives.”
“We will be doing a major Counter Report to the Mueller Report,” Trump said. “This should never again be allowed to happen to a future President of the United States!”
The president’s confirmation of the plan appears to have been spurred by reports that his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and others were doing little to prepare to rebut Mueller, who is also looking at whether Trump has obstructed justice.
Trump said 87 pages had already been written, adding, “obviously cannot complete until we the see the final Witch Hunt report.”
His earlier tweets seeking to undercut Mueller’s credibility came ahead of expected court filings from prosecutors that could shed more light on the scope of an investigation that has become increasingly perilous for the president.
By the end of the day Friday, Mueller is expected to spell out in detail why prosecutors accused Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, of lying to them and breaking a co-operation agreement. Separately, the special counsel’s office and federal prosecutors in New York are expected to recommend a sentence for Michael Cohen, Trump’s former loyalist and lawyer, in filings that could detail the extent of his co-operation against Trump in multiple investigations.
In a half-dozen tweets Friday morning, Trump aired many familiar grievances, including an accusation that Mueller was ignoring “corruption” by Democrats and would produce a “Republicans only Report.”
Among other things, Trump also alleged that one of Mueller’s conflicts of interest was being “Best Friends” with former FBI director James Comey. Trump fired Comey last year as he was investigating possible co-ordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia. The firing has been scrutinized by prosecutors as they examine whether the president has obstructed justice.
Trump also went after Andrew Weissmann, a top Mueller lieutenant who has led the prosecution of Manafort, now convicted of tax evasion and fraud charges related to his past work consulting for a Russianbacked political party in Ukraine. Trump wrote that Weissmann has a “horrible and vicious prosecutorial past.” Weissmann’s career stretches back decades, during which he pursued mobsters, Enron executives and white-collar criminals.
Trump’s tweets also questioned the choice of a prosecutor who has been probing the actions of Jerome Corsi to determine whether he co-ordinated with WikiLeaks in the release of hacked Democratic emails.