In an ominous Wednesday morning tweet, President Trump appeared to threaten to “get involved” with the Justice Department, accusing DOJ leaders of trying to hide information from Congress.
“What are they afraid of?” Trump wrote. “Why so much redacting? Why such unequal ‘justice?’ At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!”
A Rigged System – They don’t want to turn over Documents to Congress. What are they afraid of? Why so much redacting? Why such unequal “justice?” At some point I will have no choice but to use the powers granted to the Presidency and get involved!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2018
Trump appeared to be responding to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling. At an event Tuesday, Rosenstein was asked about a group of conservative House Republicans drafting articles of impeachment against him, accusing him of stonewalling a request made by the House Intelligence Committee for documents on the Russia investigation.
“The Department of Justice is not going to be extorted,” Rosenstein replied. Coming from an official who has largely tried to remain low-key, the comments were notably pointed.
The House Intelligence Committee’s report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, released last Friday, found “no evidence” of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. The document was heavily redacted, to the chagrin of the GOP lawmakers behind the document and the puzzlement of the press.
The President has recently been ramping up his threats to intervene with the DOJ, telling Fox and Friends last week that top FBI and DOJ officials were “corrupt.” Though he tries to stay away, he said, “at some point, I won’t.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) urged caution on Wednesday, telling Trump in a tweet in response that the president doesn’t have the power to interfere with the Russia probe, and that firing Rosenstein or Mueller “would create a constitutional crisis.”
Mr. President, the powers of the Presidency do not give you the right to interfere with or shut down the Russia investigation. Firing the Deputy AG or Director Mueller would create a constitutional crisis. Do not go down this road. https://t.co/rqhxKFYYQC
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 2, 2018