In a blatant attempt to discredit the special counsel investigation being led by Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump on Monday morning, once again, expressed in a series of tweets his belief that the inquiry is nothing more than a “witch hunt.”
Trump reiterated a claim that the investigation was started solely because of the Christopher Steele dossier, despite the fact that several fact-checking websites have shown that assertion is simply untrue.
“So we now find out that it was indeed the unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC, that was knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!” Trump wrote.
So we now find out that it was indeed the unverified and Fake Dirty Dossier, that was paid for by Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC, that was knowingly & falsely submitted to FISA and which was responsible for starting the totally conflicted and discredited Mueller Witch Hunt!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Trump also alleged that any surveillance of his former campaign adviser Carter Page was improper because of the use of that dossier to obtain a warrant, citing Judicial Watch’s Tom Filton in his tweet.
“A disgrace to America,” Trump said. “They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!”
.....”Carter Page wasn’t a spy, wasn’t an agent of the Russians - he would have cooperated with the FBI. It was a fraud and a hoax designed to target Trump.” Tom Fitton @JudicialWatch A disgrace to America. They should drop the discredited Mueller Witch Hunt now!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
But Trump is making false allegations in both tweets.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court application to surveil Page, which was filed by FBI investigators months before Trump was officially elected in November 2016, was released over the weekend. It contains more than 400 pages of information, much of it redacted, detailing why they needed to inspect Page, who the FBI suspected of improperly interacting with Russia during the campaign, more closely.
Some of the information in those pages did cite the dossier, but the warrant did not solely rely on that document to justify perusal of Page’s activities.
All of the judges involved in granting the FISA warrant are Republican-appointed judges. Partisanship was not an issue here.
The continued criticisms from Trump hammer a point he has made at several junctures over the past year, an incorrect assumption that the salacious Steele dossier was the catalyst for the Russia investigation, particularly elements involving members of the president’s campaign may have played in colluding with the Kremlin in 2016.
In reality, it was a different campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, that began the investigation after he had bragged openly about possibly obtaining dirt from Russian authorities on Trump’s political adversary, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
Trump and his supporters are attempting to confuse the public and make it seem that they are the victims of an unnecessary investigation. But the so-called “witch hunt” that Trump alludes to has already led to dozens of indictments and many guilty pleas. Were it a fraudulent investigation, those charges and admissions of guilt wouldn’t be so forthcoming.
Trump is doing the American people a huge disservice in his purposeful attempts to confuse them, and it’s possible his tweets could land him in more trouble with regard to the possibility of obstructing justice. One thing is clear, however, regarding the tone of his social media posts: Trump is scared, and his lashing out in this manner seems to be a desperate (and futile) attempt to save himself.