President Trump on Wednesday continued his public campaign to impugn the credibility of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s findings, which are expected to be released in redacted form in the coming days.
“It was an illegal investigation. It was started illegally. Everything about it was crooked,” Trump told reporters outside the White House before departing to Texas. “This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted takedown of a president, and we beat them.”
Trump’s comments came just one day after Attorney General William Barr told a House panel that he would release a redacted version of Mueller’s 300-page report to Congress within the week and subsequently make a more heavily redacted version public.
Lawmakers on the House Appropriations Committee questioned Barr on Tuesday about the summary of Mueller’s report that he made public last month. In the four-page summary, Barr wrote that Mueller did not find evidence of a criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian officials to disrupt the 2016 election. The summary further explained that Mueller did not make a determination as to whether Trump obstructed justice in firing FBI director James Comey, but that after reviewing the report, Barr had determined there wasn’t sufficient evidence to bring obstruction of justice charges.
Bloomberg reported Wednesday that Barr has formed a team within the Department of Justice to investigate whether the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign was tainted by partisan bias, as congressional Republicans have long argued.
That probe comes atop an existing DOJ inspector general’s investigation into possible FISA court abuses by FBI officials who used the Steele dossier to obtain a warrant to surveil Carter Page. Barr told lawmakers Tuesday that the IG’s investigation should conclude as early as May or June.