House GOP whip complains that Democrats are obsessed with Mueller investigation

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the House minority whip, criticized Democrats on Friday for wanting to conduct oversight of President Donald Trump and his administration, saying they were obsessed with special counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year long Russia investigation and “won’t give up.”

His comments notably come as Trump continues to tweet around the clock about the investigation and as Scalise himself calls for a probe into the investigation’s origins.

Attorney General William Barr released a summary of Mueller’s findings in March, and made public a lightly redacted version of the special counsel’s report last month. Democrats have since criticized Barr for misleading Congress on those findings initially, pointing to Mueller’s own concerns with the attorney general’s messaging, which he outlined in two separate letters to Barr earlier this year.

On Fox News Friday, Scalise dismissed comments from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and others that called out the attorney general for lying to Congress. He suggested instead that the Democratic majority should be worried about passing a budget, lowering health care costs, and celebrating Trump’s economy. 

“What did they spend the last two years doing? They spent over $35 million of taxpayer money going on this witch hunt and they still won’t give it up,” Scalise said, forgetting that the cost of the investigation was effectively covered by the money seized from former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, whom Mueller indicted in 2017 and who was later convicted of bank and tax fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

“People are ready to focus on the real issues that matter to families,” Scalise continued. “And instead, Nancy Pelosi and her liberal lieutenants want to just keep smearing, attacking, and making crazy, radical statements with nothing to back it up.”

Last month, Scalise demanded a new investigation into the origins of the Russian investigation and the investigators who carried it out. “I would hope that the Justice Department roots out the bad apples that are over at the FBI. We’ve seen from abuses of the FISA court process,” he told a local TV station in New Orleans at the time.

Speaking with Fox News on Friday, Scalise reiterated those calls. “There was, it looks like we’ve seen some evidence of, spying on the Trump campaign by the previous administration. They’re gonna have to answer for that. A lot more is coming out on that,” he said.

The president himself has continued to feed the post-Mueller frenzy, tweeting about the probe and Mueller’s final report constantly. In public appearances, he has also spoken at length about the investigation, slamming the special counsel and his investigators and baselessly accusing Democrats of carrying out a coup.

In the past 72 hours alone, Trump has brought up the topic repeatedly, repeating his false claim that Mueller’s report completely exonerated him and determined there was “no collusion,” as well as retweeting conspiracy theorists accusing law enforcement officials of misconduct.

Finally, Mainstream Media is getting involved – too “hot” to avoid. Pulitzer Prize anyone? The New York Times, on front page (finally), “Details effort to spy on Trump Campaign.” @foxandfriends This is bigger than WATERGATE, but the reverse!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

 

OK, so after two years of hard work and each party trying their best to make the other party look as bad as possible, it’s time to get back to business. The Mueller Report strongly stated that there was No Collusion with Russia (of course) and, in fact, they were rebuffed…..

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2019

 

The Collusion Delusion is OVER! pic.twitter.com/sRnHoDmzFJ

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2019

 

NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION. Besides, how can you have Obstruction when not only was there No Collusion (by Trump), but the bad actions were done by the “other” side? The greatest con-job in the history of American Politics!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019

 

Why didn’t President Obama do something about Russia in September (before November Election) when told by the FBI? He did NOTHING, and had no intention of doing anything!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019

 

“The Democrats can’t come to grips with the fact that there was No Collusion, there was No Conspiracy, there was No Obstruction. What we should be focused on is what’s been going on in our government, at the highest levels of the FBI….” Senator Josh Hawley

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 1, 2019

 

While the investigation did not find evidence of criminal coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, Mueller’s report documented the extensive ties between the two sides, the campaign’s willingness to accept help from a foreign adversary, and at least 10 episodes involving Trump that may have constituted obstruction of justice.

Congressional Republicans have almost unanimously dismissed these findings and treated the report as a full vindication of Trump.

Read more: thinkprogress.org