In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law. The update -- just published --includes a chapter on the 2018 midterms.
President Trump and his allies signaled Monday that they intend to use the broad conclusions of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — which found no criminal conspiracy with Russia to influence the 2016 election — to forcefully attack perceived opponents they say unfairly accused the president of wrongdoing.
The targets are diffuse, ranging from specific Democratic lawmakers to the media more generally. White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called on House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) to resign immediately, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) urged Schiff to relinquish his committee chairmanship. Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said he planned to investigate what he dubbed “all of the abuse by the Department of Justice and the FBI” during the 2016 presidential election. And the Trump campaign sent a memo to television hosts and producers that included a list of guests it suggested should no longer be booked because they “made outlandish, false claims” on air.
“What he says is, he wants this investigated,” said Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.
“I don’t think he’s thought it out like Lindsey has. But he wants these things investigated.”Peter Baker and Nicholas Fandos at NYT:
“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things, I would say some treasonous things against our country,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House. “I’ve been looking at them for a long time,” he added, “and I’m saying why haven’t they been looked at? They lied to Congress, many of them, you know who they are. They’ve done so many evil things.”
The approach, if it lasts, contrasts with those of other presidents who survived major scandals. After the Iran-contra affair, President Ronald Reagan happily dropped the subject and focused on arms control talks with the Soviet Union and other issues. After being acquitted at his Senate impeachment trial, President Bill Clinton was just as eager to move on to Social Security and other initiatives.
But Mr. Trump and his allies on Monday sought to put his adversaries on the defensive and cement the view that Mr. Mueller’s report represents complete vindication. Mr. Mueller found no conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia, but he pointedly declined to exonerate the president on obstruction of justice, according to a Justice Department letter to lawmakers on Sunday.
Mr. Mueller’s report has yet to be released, so it remains unknown whether it includes damning new details that question the actions of Mr. Trump or his associates, even if they do not represent a crime. Six House Democratic committee chairmen sent a letter on Monday to Attorney General William P. Barr demanding he provide them the full report by next Tuesday.