President Donald Trump called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the Mueller probe. This was one of the most direct demands made to the Justice Department from Trump regarding the Russian probe. Trump called the Mueller investigation a rigged witch hunt and urged Sessions to end it “right now.” He added that the investigation is staining the country and called Mueller and his “17 angry Democrats” a disgrace to the US.
Sessions hasn’t been part of the probe. The Attorney General recused himself from the investigation before it started and instead left his deputy Rod Rosenstein in charge. The Mueller probe is looking into allegations of election meddling by Russia in which members of the Trump campaign have been implicated. Sessions didn’t respond to Trump’s tweet and it’s very unlikely that he will publically.
President Trump has slammed the Russia probe repeatedly over the last few months. He has called the probe a witch hunt spearheaded largely by Democrats. Trump has also occasionally attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the matter. In one tweet sent just two months ago, Trump directly expressed his disappointment with Sessions saying that if he knew the Attorney General would recuse himself from the Russian probe he would have appointed someone else for that position.
Reports have also indicated that the President has requested Sessions to maintain little control over the investigation even after recusing himself from the matter. It’s understood that Sessions rebuffed that request. The New York Times reported that the Mueller team is already aware of this and an investigation is underway.
Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel by Sessions’ deputy Rod Rosenstein. The Deputy AG hasn’t been spared by Trump either. In fact, Rosenstein told his colleagues that he may be fired but is at peace with whatever decision the president decides to take. The White House was quick to respond by stating that Trump’s tweet was not in any way an order to the Attorney General. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters during a briefing at the White House that the president was merely expressing an opinion about the whole issue. The Mueller investigation has already produced 25 Russian indictments and five guilty pleas.
Democratic lawmakers were up in arms immediately after the tweet with senior members of the Senate terming Trump’s sentiments as evidence that the president is attempting to obstruct justice. Lawmakers from both sides of the political divide expressed their support towards the Mueller investigation. There was a bipartisan measure in the House early this year designed to protect the special counsel from firing but it didn’t come to a full vote. Russian interference into the 2016 election and the ongoing probe by Robert Mueller has been viewed as a stain on Trump’s legitimacy by many analysts. The president too appears to view it this way but unless he decides to fire Rosenstein, the investigation will go on to its end.