Trump calls on top lawyer to end special counsel probe
President Donald Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to halt the special counsel probe into Russia’s alleged election meddling on Wednesday.
Sessions evoked Trump’s ire last year when he announced he would recuse himself from the Russia probe because he had not disclosed his contacts with Russia’s Washington ambassador during his Senate confirmation. Trump has publicly and privately fumed over the decision.
After months of deriding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which is also examining possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia, the president directly appealed to his top law enforcement official to squash the investigation.
“This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
After Sessions stepped aside, the second in command at the Justice Department, Rod Rosenstein, has overseen the Mueller probe, making any action by Sessions unlikely.
The trial of Trump’s former campaign manager began Tuesday. Paul Manafort is facing federal bank fraud and tax charges brought by Mueller.
The trial is expected to last at least two weeks.
In another tweet Wednesday, Trump said Manafort “worked for me for a very short time,” despite the fact that Manafort worked for his campaign for half a year.
“Why didn’t government tell me that he was under investigation. These old charges have nothing to do with Collusion – a Hoax!” Trump said.
In addition to seeking to determine the details of Russia’s alleged interference in the election and the Trump campaign’s possible cooperation with the effort, Mueller is also examining the president’s potential obstruction of justice.
His tweet Wednesday morning saying Sessions “should stop” Mueller raises new questions over obstruction.