Criminal Justice

Trump says Sessions should shut down special counsel probe 'right now', questions Manafort case

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday said Attorney General Jeff Sessions “should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt” in a series of tweets critical of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump’s tweets said the special counsel’s charges in the current trial of his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, “have nothing to do with Collusion—a Hoax!” The Washington Post, the New York Times, NBC and Politico have stories.

Trump’s tweet about Sessions was posted nine minutes after one that ended with “ALAN DERSHOWITZ …” It read: “This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!”

Mueller is reportedly examining past Trump tweets and remarks about Sessions as part of a probe into obstruction of justice, the New York Times had previously reported.

In March 2017, Sessions recused himself “from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for president of the United States,” according to past coverage from ABC News. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversees Mueller’s investigation.

Trump’s tweets about the Russia investigation on Wednesday began with condemnation of FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had criticized Trump in texts to an FBI lawyer. Strzok had worked on both the probe of Russian influence in the 2016 election and the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for email while secretary of state.

Trump said Strzok was out to stop Trump from being elected and he should not have been allowed to remain in the FBI. “Those are illegal, improper goals, trying to influence the election,” Trump tweeted, adding in a later tweet that “this is a real issue,” but “it won’t go into a Mueller report because Mueller is going to protect these guys.”

In the past, Trump had said 13 Democrats work for Mueller, but “upped the figure to 17” in his latest tweets, according to Politico.

Adds information about Sessions’ recusal and Rosenstein’s role at 1:35 p.m.

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