- President Donald Trump suggests that a report from special counsel Robert Mueller should not be publicly released.
- He claims Mueller's Russia probe is "an illegal and conflicted investigation in search of a crime."
President Donald Trump said Friday that "there should be no" report from special counsel Robert Mueller on his Russia investigation.
His comments come a day after the House unanimously passed a symbolic resolution calling for public release of the report Mueller gives to the Justice Department about his probe. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tried to bring the measure up in his chamber on Thursday, but Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., blocked it.
The former FBI director is looking into the Kremlin's efforts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Mueller is reportedly winding down the probe, which has dogged Trump at every turn since the special counsel's appointment in May 2017.
Mueller has to send his confidential conclusions to the Justice Department. Then, Attorney General William Barr will send his own report to Congress. He can decide what information to give to lawmakers or the public.
In a series of tweets, Trump said the special counsel "should never have been appointed and there should be no Mueller Report." He also claimed Mueller's investigation was "an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime."
"THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!" he added.
Trump has repeatedly railed against the investigation, which he has called an illegal "witch hunt," as it moves closer to him. The probe has contributed to guilty pleas from several former members of Trump's inner circle and charges against numerous Russian nationals and companies.
For instance, federal prosecutors have said Trump directed his ex-lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to commit campaign finance violations ahead of the 2016 election. They say Cohen paid off two women who claimed to have affairs with Trump in order to influence the election's result. Cohen pleaded guilty to those charges and others after Mueller's team referred the case to U.S. attorneys.
Still, the charges against some in the president's orbit, such as his former campaign chief Paul Manafort, did not directly relate to work for the Trump campaign. The president has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
During Barr's confirmation process, Democratic lawmakers worried about how he would handle the Mueller investigation. In January, he told senators that he does not believe the special counsel would be "involved in a witch hunt."
Last month, Trump said whether to release the report would be "totally up to" Barr.