(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump blasted Democratic investigations into his administration as “nonsense,” “games” and the start of the 2020 campaign on Tuesday, during an executive order signing event on veteran suicide prevention.
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee requested detailed communications from a broad list of 81 people and organizations related to Trump and his associates. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said the committee is specifically looking into allegations of obstruction of justice, public corruption and abuses of power. Late Monday evening, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders responded to the request with a fiery statement, calling the sweeping investigation “disgraceful and abusive.”
The president appeared eager on Tuesday to respond to a question from ABC News’ Cecilia Vega about Democrats now also calling for a criminal investigation into his son in law and adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance. Stepping back up to the podium, the president went on to scold Democrats for focusing on “presidential harassment” instead of legislation and policy.
“There was no collusion. That was a hoax. There was no anything. And they want to do that instead of getting legislation passed,” Trump said. “Eighty-one people or organizations got letters. It’s a disgrace. It’s a disgrace to our country. I’m not surprised that it’s happening. Basically, they’ve started the campaign so the campaign begins.”
He added, “Instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing health care, instead of doing so many things that they should be doing, they want to play games.”
In a series of tweets on Tuesday morning the president called the Democrats’ request “the greatest overreach in the history of our Country” and threatened to stop new legislation.
“They won’t get ANYTHING done for our Country!” Trump tweeted.
The president went on to hint that his legal team plans to simply ignore Nadler’s requests, although he did not specifically say what he was referencing.
“President Obama, from what they tell me, was under a similar kind of a thing, didn’t give one letter,” Trump said. “They didn’t do anything. They didn’t give one letter. Many requests were made. They didn’t give a letter.”
According to a new poll by Quinnipiac, 64 percent of U.S. voters said yes, they believe President Trump committed a crime before he became president, 24 percent said no.
Democrats on Capitol Hill claim that they are well within their rights to investigate the president for potential crimes.
“Congress has an independent responsibility, a very solemn one, to do oversight. That’s what House committees are doing — they are asking questions and demanding answers. That’s what Congress is supposed to be doing,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said.
Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., said that while he supports House Democrats in their quest for more information, he hopes that they are coordinating with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“I do hope they’re coordinating in terms of not making sure they interfere with the final elements of the Mueller investigation, but I believe they’ll be smart enough to navigate those waters,” he said.
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