US President Donald Trump has criticised Democratic lawmakers and other for illegally fabricating a crime and trying to pin it on a “very innocent” president ahead of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimonies regarding the Russia probe.
“So Democrats and others can illegally fabricate a crime, try pinning it on a very innocent President, and when he fights back against this illegal and treasonous attack on our Country, they call It Obstruction? Wrong! Why didn’t Robert Mueller investigate the investigators?” Trump said in a statement posted on Twitter.
In a separate tweet, Trump called the Russia probe the “greatest witch hunt in US history”.
Mueller is publicly testifying before the US House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees regarding the Russia probe as lawmakers and the Justice Department grapple over what can be disclosed during the sessions.
The Justice Department sent Mueller a letter on the night of 33 July saying it expects him to limit his testimony to what is already publicly available in the report on the investigation into alleged Russian meddling and collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign. The letter prompted Democratic lawmakers to hit back at US Attorney General Barr for trying to prevent information damaging to Trump from being revealed.
Mueller’s testimony on 24 July takes place a week after the hearing was originally scheduled for.
Mueller issued the final report on his investigation in April and said the probe found no evidence of collusion between Trump and his campaign with Russian officials in the run-up to the 2016 US presidential election. However, Mueller described ten instances that may constitute obstruction of justice by the US president.
Barr said after reviewing the facts concluded that the evidence developed by Mueller failed to establish that Trump committed an obstruction-of-justice offence.
Trump has repeatedly called Mueller’s investigation a political witch hunt. Russia has also denied any claims of interference in the US political system and said the allegations were made up to deflect public attention from actual instances of election fraud and corruption as well as other pressing issues.