Trump tweets accuse Mueller of picking on Republicans
Donald Trump attacked the special counsel Robert Mueller hours before he was to deliver details on how two of the president’s closest former aides have helped or hindered an investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.
In a series of angry tweets Trump attacked Mueller – as he has done frequently – and alleged he was picking on only Republicans in his investigation.
Trump said Mueller had numerous “conflicts of interest” and accused him of ignoring Democrats, and especially his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Mueller accused Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, last month of breaching a plea bargain deal by lying to prosecutors, and he will submit information on those alleged lies in a filing to a federal court in Washington. That could include shedding new light on Manafort’s business dealings or his consulting work for pro-Kremlin interests in Ukraine.
Manafort, who maintains he has been truthful with Mueller, managed Trump’s campaign for three months. Also on Friday, Mueller’s office and the southern district of New York were due to file sentencing memos on Michael Cohen, Trump’s former private lawyer.
Cohen pleaded guilty to financial crimes in a New York court in August and last week to lying to Congress in a Mueller case. Sentencing for both cases will be handled by one judge.
Attention will focus on whether Mueller discloses new information to supplement Cohen’s admission last week that he sought help from the Kremlin for a Trump skyscraper in Moscow late into the 2016 campaign.
Mueller’s investigation has infuriated Trump. He denies collusion between his team and Russia, and accuses Mueller’s prosecutors of pressuring former aides to lie. Trump has called Cohen a liar and “weak person”.
Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said he was eager to see whether Mueller’s prosecutors directly or tacitly support Cohen’s assertions that Trump directed him to make hush payments to women in violation of campaign finance law and that he let the White House know what he planned to tell Congress about the Moscow skyscraper project. Cohen now says he lied in that testimony.