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President Donald Trump on Tuesday tore into a sweeping new investigation launched by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, accusing them of committing "the real crime" and calling them "stone cold CRAZY" for sending letters to "innocent people to harass them."
The president's denunciation came hours after the White House blasted the probe as "disgraceful and abusive" and accused Democrats of trying to "distract from their radical agenda" of "killing babies after they're born," among other inaccurate claims.
Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., announced Monday that the House committee had sent letters requesting documents to 81 people and entities related to the president. A spokesman for the Judiciary Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the latest comments from Trump and the White House.
The wide-ranging probe into alleged obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power targets figures in the White House, the Justice Department, the Trump Organization and the Trump campaign, among others. Letters were sent to two of the president's sons, former campaign officials, current and former White House officials, organizations including WikiLeaks and figures who have already pleaded guilty to charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing Russia probe.
The White House confirmed Monday morning that it had received a letter from the committee. That evening, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a lengthy statement slamming the "disgraceful and abusive investigation into tired, false allegations already investigated by the Special Counsel and committees in both Chambers of Congress."
"Chairman Nadler and his fellow Democrats have embarked on this fishing expedition because they are terrified that their two-year false narrative of 'Russia collusion' is crumbling," Sanders said.
A slew of reports in recent weeks suggest Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, including possible collusion with the Trump campaign, could soon be drawing to a close. NBC News reported in February that a final report from Mueller, if publicly released, may not contain the bombshell revelations many critics of Trump have come to expect, owing to Justice Department rules.
"Their intimidation and abuse of American citizens is shameful," Sanders continued. "Democrats are harassing the President to distract from their radical agenda of making America a socialist country, killing babies after they're born, and pushing a 'green new deal' that would destroy jobs and bankrupt America."
Trump has increasingly made abortion a central focus of his rhetoric in speeches and on social media, framing himself as a pro-life champion and accusing Democrats of supporting late-term abortions. The "Green New Deal," pushed by freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, proposes radical changes to U.S. environmental, economic and health-care policy. It has been broadly panned by conservatives as costly and unrealistic.
Sanders' statement added: "The American people deserve a Congress that works with the President to address serious issues like immigration, healthcare, and infrastructure. The Democrats are more interested in pathetic political games and catering to a radical, leftist base than on producing results for our citizens. The Democrats are not after the truth, they are after the President."
On Tuesday morning, Trump heaped more invective on the Democrats.
"Now that they realize the only Collusion with Russia was done by Crooked Hillary Clinton & the Democrats, Nadler, [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam] Schiff and the Dem heads of the Committees have gone stone cold CRAZY," Trump tweeted.
"81 letter sent to innocent people to harass them. They won't get ANYTHING done for our Country!" Trump wrote.
He followed up with tweets that claimed the probe was "the greatest overreach in the history of our Country" and "PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT."
The Democrat-led House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight committees on Monday also asked White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for documents and interviews with anyone who could discuss Trump's meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.