President Trump took fresh aim Friday at special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his team of lawyers, accusing them in angry morning tweets of conflicts of interest and overzealous prosecutions that have “wrongly destroyed people’s lives.”
Trump’s latest broadside came ahead of expected court filings from prosecutors that could shed more light on the scope of an investigation that began with an examination of Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and has become increasingly perilous for the president.
By the end of the day Friday, Mueller is expected to detail why prosecutors accused Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, of lying to them and breaking a cooperation agreement. Separately, the special counsel’s office and federal prosecutors in New York are expected to recommend a sentence for Michael Cohen, Trump’s former loyalist and lawyer, in filings that could detail the extent of his cooperation against Trump in multiple investigations.
In a half-dozen tweets Friday morning, Trump aired many familiar grievances, including an accusation that Mueller was ignoring “corruption” by Democrats and would produce a “Republicans only Report.”
He also pushed back against news reports that his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, would not be issuing a report to rebut Mueller’s findings. Trump said 87 pages were already written.
“Obviously cannot complete until we see the final Witch Hunt Report,” he added.
Among other things, Trump also alleged that one of Mueller’s conflicts of interest was being “Best Friends” with former FBI director James B. Comey, whom Trump referred to as “Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey.”
Comey and Mueller, both veterans of the Justice Department, have known each other for more than a decade and have said they respect one another, but associates of both men say they are not personal friends and did not socialize outside work functions. Both men were registered Republicans for most of their adult lives.
Trump fired Comey last year as he was investigating possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia. The firing has been scrutinized by prosecutors as they examine whether Trump has obstructed justice.
Trump also went after Andrew Weissmann, a top Mueller lieutenant who has led the prosecution of Manafort. The former Trump campaign chairman has been convicted of tax evasion and fraud charges related to his past work consulting for a Russian-backed political party in Ukraine.
Trump wrote that Weissmann has a “horrible and vicious prosecutorial past” and that he “wrongly destroyed people’s lives, took down great companies” and is “doing same thing to people now.”
Weissmann’s career stretches back decades, during which he pursued mobsters, Enron executives and white-collar criminals. During that time, he earned a reputation as an aggressive prosecutor, one particularity effective at flipping witnesses to provide evidence against others.
Trump’s tweets also questioned the choice of a prosecutor who has been probing the actions of Jerome Corsi, a right-wing author and conspiracy theorist.
Corsi provided research during the 2016 campaign to Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump. For months, Mueller’s team has been scrutinizing Stone’s activities to determine whether he coordinated with WikiLeaks or its founder, Julian Assange, in the release of hacked Democratic emails during the campaign.
“Wasn’t the woman in charge of prosecuting Jerome Corsi (who I do not know) in charge of ‘legal’ at the corrupt Clinton Foundation?” Trump wrote, referring to the charitable foundation that was led by his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, and members of her family.
The “woman” referenced by Trump is Jeannie Rhee, who, while in private practice, was among the lawyers who represented the Clinton Foundation in a lawsuit brought by Larry Klayman. Klayman is a lawyer now representing Corsi.