Trump Accuses Mueller of Destroying Crucial Evidence in Russia Probe
President says special counsel 'terminated' emails and text messages proving witch hunt
President Donald Trump has accused former special counsel Robert Mueller of destroying crucial evidence during his investigation that would have proven the Russia Probe was an anti-Trump witch hunt.
During a Wednesday interview on Fox Business, the president unloaded, saying Mueller "terminated" FBI text and emails containing discussions of a plot to sabotage his presidency.
Trump described the deletion of these communications as an illegal move.
"Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated all of the emails," Trump told host Maria Bartiromo.
"Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together. He terminated them. They're gone. And that's illegal. That's a crime."
The president was referring to text messages and emails between disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok and ex-Bureau lawyer Lisa Page who conspired in an anti-Trump campaign during the early stages of the Russia investigations.
"They got caught and they're running around going wild trying to do everything they can, but they spied on my campaign, it's as simple as that," Trump said, referring to the probe's origins at the FBI.
"It's so illegal, it's probably the biggest political scandal in history and they got caught doing it."
Trump didn't specify any details of the material might have been in any "terminated" messages.
"The Republicans are going to ask him plenty," Trump said.
The president has contended for years that an effort by Hillary Clinton's rival campaign and the Democratic National Committee to gather intelligence on him became an illegal form of government surveillance when the Obama administration's Justice Department made use of the results.
Much of the information in what later became known as the "Steele dossier" came from Russian sources, opening Democrats up to the same charge they have accused him of: Colluding with foreigners to impact the presidential contest.
"Now the shoe is turning," Trump said Wednesday.
Republicans in Congress, he said, will use Mueller's time on the hot seat to make Democrats squirm.
"They think it's going to be revealed. The real stuff. The real stuff is coming down," Trump said, suggesting the Mueller hearings will be a smokescreen to cover Democrats' complicity in a plot to snoop on his 2016 presidential campaign.
"You had people spying on my campaign," he said.
"It's very simple. ... They got caught and they're running around going wild trying to do everything they can."
"It never ends," Trump said.
"We had no obstruction, we had no collusion... Mueller was obviously not a Trump fan, not a Trump person."
The president has long argued that Democrats were responsible for the only "crime" related to Mueller's lengthy Russia probe – the solicitation of a multimillion-dollar contract to assemble a spurious dossier of dirt on him that included intelligence from Russians.
Presidential Harassment!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 26, 2019
A House Republican claimed Tuesday night that a "friendly" subpoena compelling Mueller to testify in an open congressional hearing might not be valid – but warned the GOP will take advantage of the chance to grill Trump's nemesis anyway on July 17.
"Bob Mueller better be prepared, because he will be cross-examined for the first time, and the American people will start to see the flaws in his report," North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said on the Fox News Channel.
Mueller, he said, might regret agreeing to testify in a "sham" hearing after proclaiming that he would never expand on the lengthy report that closed nearly two years of investigations.
Mueller said of his report on May 29: "We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself.
"I would not provide information beyond what is already public in any appearance before Congress."
"Bob Mueller said it all: 445 pages, that's all I'm going to say," Meadows said Tuesday.
"And what has he been doing?
"He's been courted by the other side just so they can harass the president and keep on this narrative that – honestly there's no 'there' there."
Mueller declared last month that "the report is my testimony," and "beyond what is said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further."