Former A.G. Holder defends Mueller as White House reportedly sharpens the knives

Former A.G. Holder defends Mueller as White House reportedly sharpens the knives

As President Trump’s White House reportedly gears up to attack the team recruited by Robert Mueller, the special counsel in charge of the Russia probe, former Attorney General Eric Holder defended the integrity of the independent investigation and said the president “cannot define or constrain” its scope.

“There is NO basis to question the integrity of Mueller or those serving with him in the special counsel’s office,” Holder wrote on Twitter. “And no conflicts either.”

He added: “Trump cannot define or constrain Mueller investigation. If he tries to do so this creates issues of constitutional and criminal dimension.”

A New York Times report published Thursday detailed the White House’s attempts to dig up dirt on Mueller and his team to discredit the investigation, which Trump has long decried as a “witch hunt,” or even to lay the groundwork for dismissing Mueller.

One of the White House’s central complaints, according to the report, is that members of Mueller’s squad have made political donations to Democrats — something Trump himself has done in the past. Another argument is that the president interviewed Mueller for the job of running the FBI before eventually choosing Chris Wray — creating the supposition, in the minds of some Trump allies, that Mueller resents being passed over.

In an interview with the Times Wednesday, Trump appeared to warn Mueller about the limits he expected him to be bound by. The president declined to say under what circumstances he would fire Mueller, but stated emphatically that a probe of his business dealings would be out of bounds. The next day, Bloomberg reported that Mueller’s investigation had expanded to include just that.

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