With the Mueller report due out this week, President Trump is doubling down on his criticism of the special counsel’s probe into alleged campaign collusion with Russia and blasting Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and “dirty cops.”
Attorney General William Barr said last Wednesday that Robert Mueller’s report would be redacted by Justice Department officials and released “within a week.” In an effort to get ahead of what will surely be a feeding frenzy for the mainstream media, Trump on Monday demanded that someone “investigate the investigators.”
“Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction. These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!” Trump wrote on Twitter in an early morning post.
Trump also ripped the U.S. intelligence community, saying: “THEY SPIED ON MY CAMPAIGN (We will never forget)!”
The attorney general testified last week that intelligence agencies spied on the Trump campaign in 2016. “I think spying did occur,” Barr told lawmakers. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.” Barr did not say who did the spying or who was spied on.
The “predicate” Barr referred to is a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, which hears classified testimony collected by U.S. intelligence agencies and then decides whether to take action. A Justice Department inspector general investigation is currently investigating the issuance of several warrants that involved surveilling members of the Trump campaign, or officials tangentially connected with the campaign.
“I want to make sure there was no unauthorized surveillance,” Barr testified.
Trump has repeatedly quoted the attorney general, saying his claim is “absolutely true.” “There was absolutely spying into my campaign,” Trump said at the White House last week. “I’ll go a step further and say it was illegal spying. Unprecedented spying.”
While the full Mueller report, said to be some 400 pages, has not yet been released, Barr did send a four-page summary of the special counsel’s findings to Congress. In his letter, Barr wrote “that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Trump also said Monday that no matter what the Mueller report says, Democrats won’t be “satisfied.” “The Radical Left Democrats will never be satisfied with anything we give them. They will always Resist and Obstruct!”
Appearing last Wednesday before the House Appropriations Committee for a hearing on the Justice Department’s budget, Barr said the redacted report will be released “within a week.” Barr added that his redactions will be broken down into four categories so readers can see why the information was omitted.
“First is grand jury information,” Barr told lawmakers. “The second is information that the intelligence community believes would reveal intelligence sources and methods. The third are information in the report that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions. You’ll recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued. And we want to make sure that none of the information in the report would impinge upon either the ability of the prosecutors to prosecute the cases, or the fairness to the defendants.”
“And finally, we intend to redact information that implicated the privacy or reputational interest of peripheral players where there is a decision not to charge them,” Barr said.