A day after the department of justice made public a lightly redacted version of the special counsel’s report, that found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but did not exonerate him on the issue of obstruction of justice, Mr Trump let fly a succession of angry tweets. One of them contained a mild curse.
The tweets started in the morning, which Mr Trump reportedly spent at a golf course close to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue,” he said.
“It was not necessary for me to respond to statements made in the “Report” about me, some of which are total bullshit & only given to make the other person look good (or me to look bad). This was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened.”
According to a White House press pool report, the president returned to his estate from the Trump International Golf Club in nearby Palm Beach, at around 3pmEST. Two hours later, he finally completed a sentence he had started in one of the morning tweets.
The probe, he said, had been, “a big, fat, waste of time, energy and money – $30,000,000 to be exact”. He then wrote: “It is now finally time to turn the tables and bring justice to some very sick and dangerous people who have committed very serious crimes, perhaps even spying or treason. This should never happen again!”
While Mr Mueller did not clear Mr Trump of the accusation of obstruction – indeed, he highlighted 11 incidents in which the president had been accused of just that – attorney general William Barr, took the decision that the material contained in the report did not amount to obstruction. Democrats have angrily pointed out, Mr Barr has previously stated he does not believe a siting president can he constitutionally be indicted for anything.
Democrats now face a very difficult decision. If they try and impeach Mr Trump they risk triggering a backlash from an American public that may have little appetite for another lengthy investigation into the president.
Many in the party – primarily House speaker Nancy Pelosi – have indicated their collective energy is better spent trying to defeat Mr Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Her spokesperson, Ashley Etienne, told reporters: “As the speaker has said repeatedly, one step at a time.”
Among those who do support impeachment are sensor Elizabeth Warren, one of those seeking the party’s nomination for president in 2020.
“The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty,” Ms Warren wrote on Twitter. “That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States.”
Other progressives, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also support impeachment. She said on Thursday, having seen the contents of Mr Mueller’s report, she would sign an impeachment resolution tabled last month by fellow freshman legislator, Rashida Tlaib.
On Friday, Democratic congressman, chair of the House judiciary committee, issued a subpoena to the justice department to hand over the full Mueller report and other relevant evidence by May 1. He has also said he will call Mr Mueller to testify in person.
While the government has said it will make available to certain legislators a less redacted version of the report, on Friday evening the department of justice said Mr Nadler’s subpoena was “unnecessary and “premature”.
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