Trump threatens to 'get involved' with Justice Department over 'rigged system' on Russia meddling, Hillary Clinton documents

  • President Donald Trump accused the Justice Department of engaging in "unequal justice" by not promptly turning over to Congress documents related to a probe of Hillary Clinton's private email server and Russia meddling in the 2016 election.
  • Trump's series of acerbic tweets came a day after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said the Justice Department would not be "extorted" by threats from congressional Republicans to impeach him.
  • Trump is increasingly angry over an ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion by the Trump campaign and Russians in the 2016 presidential election.
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, followed by Republican nominee Donald Trump, walk toward NBC moderator Lester Holt after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Sept. 26, 2016.
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Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, followed by Republican nominee Donald Trump, walk toward NBC moderator Lester Holt after the first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Sept. 26, 2016.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday harshly criticized the Justice Department, accusing it of "unequal justice" by not promptly turning over records requested by Congress related to a probe of Hillary Clinton's private email server and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Trump also warned in an acerbic tweet that if things do not change with that situation, "At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!"

Trump did not elaborate on what he meant by getting "involved." But it was the second time in a week that he has made such a warning regarding the Justice Department.

The tweet was the last of four Wednesday morning from Trump, who believes the DOJ gave Clinton a pass in its investigation of her email server. Clinton had used a private email server while serving as secretary of State under President Barack Obama.

Adding to Trump's ire is what he says is a baseless probe into possible collusion by the Trump campaign with Russians during the 2016 election.

Another tweet blasted a series of questions special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants to ask Trump about firings last year of national security advisor Michael Flynn and then FBI Director James Comey.

Flynn has since pleaded guilty in Mueller's probe. Trump told NBC News last year that he was thinking "of this Russia thing" when he axed Comey, who had recommended against a prosecution of Clinton in the server investigation.

In an interview last week on the Fox News Channel program "Fox & Friends," Trump again referred to Mueller's ongoing Russian probe as "this witch hunt going on with people in the Justice Department that shouldn't be there."

"They have a witch hunt against the president of the United States going on, I've taken the position — and I don't have to take this position and maybe I'll change — that I will not be involved with the Justice Department," Trump said during his Fox interview.

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on Wednesday when asked about Trump's criticism.

Trump's new tweet came a day after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blasted conservative Republican lawmakers for drafting articles of impeachment against him, saying, "The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted."

Rosenstein has drawn the ire of Trump and his Republican allies for having appointed Mueller as special counsel after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations related to the election.

Sessions is the Trump appointee who is in charge of the DOJ, which the president repeatedly has criticized for foot-dragging in the production of files about Clinton's email server, as well as about surveillance by the department of a Trump campaign official and other aspects of the Russia probe.

The DOJ last month agreed to provide such documents related to Clinton to two House committees after being issued a subpoena for the records.

Despite producing those documents, some members of Congress remain unhappy with the Justice Department's disclosure of other records requested.