Intimidation, pressure and humiliation: Trump's two-year war against the investigations surrounding him



So they started investigating the investigators. Mr. Trump and his lawyers enthusiastically encouraged this strategy, which according to some polls would have convinced many Americans that the country's repressive apparatus was determined to overthrow the president.

A few days after their conversation, MM. Gaetz and Jordan wrote a letter to Mr. Sessions and Mr. Rosenstein, calling for the first time to appoint a second special council to essentially re-investigate Hillary Clinton for processing his state emails. – the case had ended in the summer of 2016 – as well as the origins of the FBI investigation on Mr Flynn and other Trump collaborators.

The letter itself, with the signatures of only 20 Republicans in the House, had little success in the beginning. But a major change was underway: at a time when Trump's lawyers urged him to cooperate with Mueller and mitigate his Twitter feed, the president's fiercest allies in Congress and the conservative media were busy trying to reverse the scenario on the Internet. federal law enforcement agencies and officials who opened the investigation into Mr. Trump's campaign.

Messrs. Gaetz and Jordan began to huddle up with like-minded Republicans, sometimes including Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolinian close to the press, close to Mr. Trump, and California's representative, Devin Nunes. , who was presiding.

Mr. Nunes, the product of a family of dairy farmers in the Central Valley of California, had already become one of Mr. Trump's most powerful allies in Congress. He worked closely with Mr. Flynn during Trump's transition after the 2016 elections and he has always fought against the CIA and other intelligence agencies, which he has sometimes accused of. have colored their analysis for partisan reasons. In the spring of 2017, he sought to support Trump's false claim that President Barack Obama ordered an illegal listening on Trump Tower.

Using the congressional control powers, Republican lawmakers managed to do what Mr. Trump was unrealistic to do on his own: to force the opening of some of the government's most sensitive investigative files – including including secret phone tapping and the existence of an FBI informant – who were part of the investigation on Russia. House Republicans have opened investigations into the FBI's handling of the Clinton email case and a debilitated uranium deal dating back to the Obama era, which was indirectly linked to Mrs. Clinton. Legislators received a lot of help from the Ministry of Justice, which sent them private SMS retrieved from two senior executives, F.B.I. the officials who had been on the case of Russia. Officials – Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – have repeatedly criticized Mr. Trump in their lyrics, which appeared in a Fox News loop and have become the centerpiece of a scalable and powerful conservative story about a cabal at home. Inside the FBI and the Department of Justice to eliminate Mr. Trump.

The President applauded lawmakers on Twitter, during interviews and privately, inviting Mr. Gaetz to participate in Air Force One in December 2017 and subsequent phone calls to continue the Republican oversight work. . He was hoping for a fair deal from Mr. Mueller, Trump told Mr. Gaetz in one of the calls just after the Congressman's appearance on Fox News, but that did not stop him from encouraging his allies to closely examine the investigation.


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