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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Donald Trump allies on the offensive

US president Donald Trump and allies have gone on the offensive vowing to hold accountable those behind the special counsel investigation that found no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russian meddling.

world Updated: Mar 26, 2019 21:24 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump(AP file photo)
         

US president Donald Trump and allies have gone on the offensive vowing to hold accountable those behind the special counsel investigation that found no evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russian meddling, and, standing their ground, Democrats have demanded to see the full report.

President Trump set the tone telling reporters at a White House event Monday that the role of those behind the “evil things”, the “treasonous things”, as he described the probe, will be “looked at”, an indication that another probe was in the making, to investigate the reasons for the Russia investigation.

Lindsey Graham, chairman of the Republican-led Senate judiciary committee, has said he intends to call for a special counsel, like Robert Mueller, to investigate how the Russian meddling investigation was launched, by the justice department and the FBI in 2016, on then President Barack Obamas watch.

Adding to the push back, the Trump 2020 re-election campaign circulated a memo to TV networks urging them to drop pundits who had “made outlandish, false claims” about collusion, mostly Democrats and former intelligence officials. Among them was Adam Schiff, chairman of the Democratic-led House intelligence committee, who was among the most aggressive of them. The White House has demanded his resignation.

The president and his allies have misleadingly claimed “total exoneration” by Special Counsel Mueller, when, in fact, the probe only said, in a report that remains confidential, no evidence was found of any collusion by Trump campaign with Russians. It left unresolved the question of obstruction of justice, saying that while the report, “does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”.

Attorney General William Barr settled the unresolved issue in favor of the president, concluding, in a four-page summary of Mueller’s report, “that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense”.

Democrats and Trump’s critics don’t agree with the AG, a Trump appointee, they have pointed out, and have demanded the full report with underlying documents and Congressional Democrats wrote to the department of justice Monday to release the report by April 2.

“Your four-page summary of the Special Counsel’s review is not sufficient for Congress, as a coequal branch of government, to perform this critical work,” they wrote in a joint letter.

First Published: Mar 26, 2019 21:23 IST

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