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For the first time since Special Counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate President Donald Trump‘s campaign’s ties to Russia in the 2016 election, the prolific tweeteer-in-chief called him out by name on Saturday, saying his investigation should not be happening. The timing is starting to make sense.
The Mueller probe should never have been started in that there was no collusion and there was no crime. It was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC, and improperly used in FISA COURT for surveillance of my campaign. WITCH HUNT!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
The president also accused the independent investigation of having a political bias against him.
Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added...does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Factual accuracy aside—it is known that Mueller is a registered Republican—people wondered why the president finally felt the need to directly attack the investigation. But a new report from Axios reveals the president’s lawyers were briefed on Mueller’s plan to question the president.
Axios has learned that special counsel Robert Mueller has focused on events since the election — not during the campaign — in his conversations with President Trump’s lawyers. The top two topics that Mueller has expressed interest in so far: the firings of FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Essentially, Trump is likely being investigated for obstruction of justice, a much easier charge to prove. According to MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, when Trump’s lawyers found out the president would be asked those types of questions, they were left shaken.
“Just watching this story from the outside, not even knowing Trump, I have a little bit of insight to his patterns, but it appears that the questions freak them out,” she said. “They melted down.”
In response to the president’s tweets, Trump’s lawyer Ty Cobb released a statement saying the president was not discussing firing Mueller. However, that stance may not have reached the president, who Monday morning continued his tirade.
A total WITCH HUNT with massive conflicts of interest!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2018
Over the weekend, another one of Trump’s lawyers, John Dowd, also said it was time for the special counsel’s investigation to end.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]