President Donald Trump called the Justice Department’s investigation into an alleged scheme involving a bribe in return for a presidential pardon “fake news” on Tuesday night.
“Pardon investigation is Fake News!” he tweeted.
It’s unclear whether Trump’s brief tweet is a denial of the probe’s existence as a whole or of the suspected activity being investigated.
The investigation itself indisputably exists; Federal Chief Judge Beryl Howell unsealed a court order on Tuesday authorizing prosecutors to access communications between individuals allegedly involved in the scheme.
The order, which was heavily redacted before being made public, does not identify those individuals and does not indicate whether or not Trump was directly involved.
In the alleged scheme, an individual would offer a “substantial political contribution” in exchange for a pardon or a “reprieve of sentence.”