Lately, President Trump has been acting as if he knows more about the Mueller investigation than the rest of the US. On Thursday, Trump went in an all too familiar Twitter explosion targeting the special counsel. Trump referred to Mueller and the people involved in the probe as “thugs” reaffirming what he has said in the past that this is nothing but a “witch hunt.”
The tweets came shortly after the president met his lawyers for three days in a row in an effort to clear up some of the questions sent by Mueller. The Washington Post reported there are at least 24 questions in the brief sent by the special counsel to the president and his legal team. All of them appear to relate to the events leading up to the 2016 election.
In a statement released to newsrooms, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said there were some questions in the list that created “legal issues” for the president. Giuliani also dismissed some questions as “unnecessary” and others as “possible traps.” Trump’s legal team has reluctantly stated the president is ready to give his testimony on the matter and it seems that Mueller is determined to hold them to their world.
At the moment, people close to the matter said all the questions were related to the possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives during the 2016 election. There was nothing about obstruction of justice, especially after the firing of former FBI Director James Comey. Until his firing, Comey was in charge of the investigation. Other reports also note there has been an uptick of intense activity by the special counsel. Although the probe did go silent during the midterms, it looks like Mueller’s trying to wrap up his work as soon as possible.
There’s also mounting speculation that a big part of this probe is about to get to the public eye. It’s now almost two years since Mueller was appointed and it’s uncertain just how much time the investigation has. However, Trump has been opposed to the probe right from the start. The firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions shortly after the midterms appeared to raise concern that the president was moving to shut down the probe.
The appointment of Matt Whitaker, a staffer in the Justice Department, as acting Attorney General has also served to fuel speculation that Mueller’s time might be coming to an end. Whitaker, just like the president, has openly criticized the Mueller probe and, at one point, called on the Justice Department to significantly reduce its budget in an effort to paralyze any moves.
However, any shakeups at the Justice Department could have little impact on Mueller’s findings. A number of major news outlets have already reported the special counsel is in the process of writing his final report. It’s likely that a number of high profile indictments will follow after that. Whether they will affect members of the president’s inner circle or the president himself remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure: Trump doesn’t like where all this is heading.