Democratic probe a ‘big, fat, fishing expedition:’ Trump

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday furiously branded a sweeping new investigation by Democrats of his inner circle a “big, fat, fishing expedition.” In a series of early morning tweets, the president said the House Judiciary Committee investigation of his alleged crimes was “the greatest overreach in the history of our Country.”
“The real crime is what the Dems are doing, and have done!” he said.
Democrats, who took control of the House of Representatives in elections last November, suspect Trump of a slew of potentially impeachable offenses.
The powerful judiciary committee on Monday requested information from 81 Trump-connected individuals and entities, including his sons and close advisers.
The letters demanded documents that could shed light on possible obstruction of justice and abuse of office by the administration and Trump himself.
The chairmen of three other House panels also joined the fray, demanding the White House produce details of communications between Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, after reports that such information was destroyed or hidden in the aftermath of their 2017 Helsinki summit.
The US intelligence community has concluded that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and that Putin ordered the influence campaign as a way to help elect Trump. The US president has repeatedly cast doubt on the findings.
The request is the most serious overt ramp-up of investigations into Trump since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in early January, and seeks to uncover whether Trump or his administration participated in obstruction of justice or public corruption — potentially impeachable offenses.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said on Tuesday said the US investigations into claims of Russian influence on president Trump are “laughable”.
“There have been so many such investigations that their significance has been devalued,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
The US House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee has begun a new probe into allegations of collusion with Russia during Trump’s campaign for the 2016 presidential election.
“None of the previously launched investigations has yielded any serious findings. All were laughable,” Peskov said. He refused to comment specifically about the House investigation, saying: “It is an entirely US affair.” Trump or his associates are facing several investigations. Chief among them is the probe by Robert Mueller, the special counsel who is focused on the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any links to Trump’s campaign.
It remains unclear when the Mueller probe will wrap up, though the investigation has already led to indictments against Trump’s inner circle, including Cohen and former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
— dpa