Trump orders House ‘weaponisation’ panel to probe his grievances in video rant

Mr Trump’s five-minute rant contains very few accurate statements

Andrew Feinberg
Thursday 26 January 2023 16:53 GMT
Trump Legal Troubles
Trump Legal Troubles (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Former president Donald Trump demanded that a new House Judiciary subcommittee focus its investigative work on a series of his long-held grievances and oft-told lies about investigations into his conduct.

In a video posted to his Truth Social platform on Wednesday, Mr Trump called the new panel, which will be chaired by Ohio Representative Jim Jordan, a “rare chance to expose the breathtaking corruption of the security state, the media and the Washington swamp”.

He then launched into a list of “questions” which the panel should “hopefully ... be asking”.

Mr Trump’s first proposed line of inquiry was a years-old, non-scandal which came to light after the end of the Justice Department’s probe into his 2016 campaign, led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

When many of the outside prosecutors turned in their government-issued phones at the end of the investigation, the phones were reset to factory settings. Months later, the DOJ Inspector General asked to review the data on the phones, but it was already too late because they’d been wiped to prepare them for new users.

The twice-impeached ex-president said the “number one” matter the House panel should look into is “who on the Mueller witch hunt ... ordered dozens and dozens of cell phones to be wiped clear of all data after the phones were requested by the Office of the Inspector General”. Such a probe would be short because the phones had been reset before the IG request was made.

Mr Trump also said the committee should investigate whether someone on Mr Mueller’s team “was in charge of leaking secret information and fake news stories to dishonest journalists ... to perpetrate the Russia hoax”.

Not only was there no “hoax” because Mr Mueller’s team found Russia’s government conducted a “sweeping and systematic” campaign to interfere in the 2016 election on Mr Trump’s behalf, but the ex-special counsel’s team was known for its’ rectitude and lack of leaks from within the department.

The disgraced former president also suggested that the panel should look into whether journalists have been “paid or compensated by US government agencies, directly or indirectly, for their role in spreading domestic disinformation,” though he did not say what he was defining as “disinformation”.

In the US, journalists and news organisations do not take money or other benefits from institutions or individuals they cover, and they do not pay for information.

Yet Mr Trump suggested the FBI also had “paid” social media companies such as Twitter to “do bad things to our country,” which was a reference to reports that the Twitter successfully sought reimbursement for the cost of complying with requests for information from law enforcement authorities, as is permitted under US law.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in