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World

AFP
May 18, 2018

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Trump rages at ‘witch hunt’ as Mueller probe turns one

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump fumed at a “witch hunt” investigation into his campaign’s dealings with Russia Thursday, as special counsel Robert Mueller’s secretive probe entered its second year.

“Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History” Trump said in a series of angry tweets to mark the anniversary.A year on from the ex-FBI director’s appointment, Mueller’s work still thoroughly dominates US politics and menaces Trump’s presidency like a churning storm.

White House officials — many of whom have themselves been called to testify and been forced to “lawyer-up” — complain bitterly that they cannot get on with the people’s work.Little is known about Mueller’s work, which even close observers refer to as a “black box”.

But once in a while, a court filing reveals targets, charges and methods and jolts official Washington like a detonation.Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his first national security advisor Michael Flynn and an assortment of campaign aides have all been caught in the snare, variously pleading guilty, cutting a plea deal or fighting the case in court.

But the big questions remain unanswered: Did Trump’s campaign collude with the Kremlin to skew the 2016 election? What did the president know and when did he know it? Did he obstruct justice? Can a sitting president be indicted?

Those questions may only be answered when Trump himself sits down for an interview under oath — something he has professed to want to do, but has yet to act upon.As the subpoenas, indictments and guilty pleas have rolled in, Trump has screamed innocence.

“There is still No Collusion and No Obstruction,” he said Thursday, while turning allegations back on his critics. “The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!” he claimed.

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