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Fact-checking Trump's Mueller probe tweets

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to slam the leak of four dozen questions special counsel Robert Mue...

Posted: May 2, 2018 12:42 AM
Updated: May 2, 2018 12:42 AM

President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Tuesday to slam the leak of four dozen questions special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask the President, as reported by The New York Times.

Trump's legal team compiled a list of questions the special counsel is interested in asking Trump after meeting with Mueller's legal team as part of an effort to get the President to agree to sit for an interview. The questions, like Mueller's investigation, relate to Russian efforts to influence the 2016 campaign, allegations of coordination with the Trump campaign and questions of obstruction of justice.

But the President's public response to the questions botched two key facts:

1. "No questions on collusion"

In his first tweet on the leaked document, Trump claimed that Mueller has "no questions on Collusion" for him.

But that's not true. In fact, it appears Mueller has several questions for the President aimed at getting to the heart of allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow -- and the President's knowledge of those efforts.

"What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?" reads one of the questions published by the New York Times.

"During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?" asks another.

Several more questions are aimed at probing the President's knowledge of his son Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer close to the Russian government, which Trump Jr. scheduled because he believed he would receive incriminating information on Hillary Clinton from the Russian government.

2. "It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened."

Legal experts were quick to reject the premise of this tweet from the President on Tuesday morning.

"It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened! Witch Hunt!" Trump tweeted.

Obstruction of justice is a crime in and of itself. A defendant can be charged with obstructing justice even if no one else is charged with another crime.

And from Mueller's questions, it's clear the special counsel is very interested in whether the President obstructed justice, with multiple questions honing in on his firing of FBI Director James Comey and Comey's allegation that the President asked him to drop his investigation into the former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

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