Trump again at­tacks Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Star-Telegram - - News/obituaries - BY JOHN WAG­NER

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Thurs­day took to Twit­ter for a fourth straight morn­ing to at­tack spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian elec­tion in­ter­fer­ence, ques­tion­ing whether it will “just go on for­ever” and call­ing it a waste of money.

“Did you ever see an in­ves­ti­ga­tion more in search of a crime?” Trump wrote in a tweet. He also as­serted that the probe “has proven only one thing-there was NO col­lu­sion with Rus­sia.”

Mueller’s 18-month-old in­ves­ti­ga­tion has led to charges against 32 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 26 Rus­sians. Four aides to Trump have pleaded guilty to var­i­ous charges.

The pres­i­dent’s tweets came just a few hours be­fore Michael Co­hen, a for­mer per­sonal at­tor­ney to Trump, pleaded guilty in New York to ly­ing to Congress about a Moscow real es­tate project that Trump and his com­pany pur­sued dur­ing the months he was run­ning for pres­i­dent.

As he left the White House on Thurs­day, Trump told re­porters that Co­hen was “weak” and said he is co­op­er­at­ing with Mueller to get a re­duced sen­tence on un­re­lated charges.

“He’s got him­self a big prison sen­tence, and he’s tried to get a much lesser prison sen­tence by mak­ing up a story,” Trump said.

Many of Trump’s at­tacks on Mueller on Thurs­day were fa­mil­iar. The in­ten­sity has picked up con­sid­er­ably in re­cent days in the wake of Trump’s sub­mis­sion of writ­ten an­swers to Mueller and sev­eral re­lated de­vel­op­ments in the news.

Mueller is con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate whether Trump’s cam­paign co­or­di­nated with Rus­sia in the 2016 U.S. pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and whether Trump has ob­structed the probe.

In Thurs­day’s tweets, Trump com­plained again that Mueller is not in­ves­ti­gat­ing his 2016 Demo­cratic op­po­nent, Hil­lary Clin­ton, and other po­lit­i­cal ad­ver­saries. With­out ev­i­dence, he ac­cused them of com­mit­ting “atro­cious, and per­haps sub­ver­sive, crimes.”

In an in­ter­view with the New York Post on Wed­nes­day, Trump said that a pres­i­den­tial par­don for Paul Manafort, his for­mer cam­paign chair­man, was “not off the ta­ble.”

“It was never dis­cussed, but I wouldn’t take it off the ta­ble,” Trump told the pub­li­ca­tion. “Why would I take it off the ta­ble?”

Manafort pleaded guilty in Septem­ber, on the eve of jury se­lec­tion for his trial in Wash­ing­ton, to two charges: con­spir­ing to de­fraud the United States and con­spir­ing to ob­struct jus­tice. He ad­mit­ted to years of fi­nan­cial crimes re­lated to his undis­closed lob­by­ing work for a proRus­sian po­lit­i­cal party and politi­cian in Ukraine be­fore join­ing Trump’s cam­paign.

Pros­e­cu­tors work­ing with Mueller this week ac­cused Manafort of breach­ing a plea agree­ment by re­peat­edly ly­ing to them in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence. In a court fil­ing, Manafort de­nied do­ing so in­ten­tion­ally.

The New York Times re­ported this week that de­spite agree­ing to co­op­er­ate with Mueller, Manafort’s lawyer con­tin­ued to brief Trump’s le­gal team.

“It’s very sad what’s hap­pened to Paul,” Trump told re­porters as he left the White House. “I’ve never seen any­body treated so badly.”

‘‘ ... HE’S TRIED TO GET A MUCH LESSER PRISON SEN­TENCE BY MAK­ING UP A STORY. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump

DOUG MILLS NYT

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump speaks to re­porters as he leaves the White House on Thurs­day morn­ing.

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