U.S. President Donald Trump and the White House fired new taunts Monday at opposition Democrats in the ongoing fight to shape the narrative of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and report on Russian meddling in the the 2016 presidential election.
In a Twitter comment, the U.S. leader said, “Bob Mueller was a great HERO to the Radical Left Democrats” while his 22-month investigation was underway.
But Trump said that when Mueller concluded two weeks ago that he did not collude with Russia to help him win the White House and that “our highly respected” Attorney General William Barr decided criminal charges were not warranted against Trump for trying to obstruct the investigation, “the Dems are going around saying, “Bob who, sorry, don’t know the man.”
Barr, the country’s top law enforcement official, is set to testify before a Senate committee on Wednesday about his no-obstruction decision and his oversight of the end of the Mueller probe.But Barr’s planned appearance before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Thursday is in doubt in a dispute over who will question him.
The House panel’s chairman, Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, wants to give the committee’s 41 members five minutes apiece to ask Barr questions and then another 30 minutes for both Democratic and Republican lawyers for the committee to make more inquiries of Barr.
Barr has agreed to questioning by the House lawmakers, but balked at the further questioning by the Democratic and Republican counsels for the committee.Barr’s agency, the Justice Department, has told the House committee he may not show up if Nadler insists on the extended questioning beyond that by lawmakers.
Nadler told CNN on Sunday, “The witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period.”He threatened to subpoena Barr if the attorney general fails to appear for Thursday’s hearing.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration cooperated with Mueller’s investigation, but derided the House panel’s demand for questioning of Barr by committee lawyers.
“You have to look at the outrageous behavior, particularly of the House Democrats, who are asking for things they know they can’t have, that they know they have no legal authority to have, and frankly they’re just acting really childish,” Sanders said.”It’s almost embarrassing to the House Democrats the way that they’re behaving.The way the process should work, look at the side on the Senate.Attorney General Barr will go there … The counter side to that is the House wanting to have staff and others interview Attorney General Barr.It really is outrageous the way that they’re behaving, and hopefully you’ll see that stop.”
Mueller cited 11 instances of possible obstruction of the investigation by Trump, saying that “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
With Mueller not reaching a decision on the obstruction question, Barr said he concluded no criminal charges against Trump were warranted.
Democrats say they want to question Barr how he reached his no-obstruction decision.