President Donald Trump sought Sunday to retrain the spotlight on Russian-related questions surrounding Hillary Clinton, firing off several heated tweets as special counsel Robert Mueller was reportedly ready to serve the first indictment in his investigation into Kremlin meddling.
Trump accused Democrats of a “Witch Hunt for evil politics.”
The indictment is to be served as early as Monday, NBC News reported. Anyone charged could be taken into custody as soon as Monday, CNN reported.
A grand jury Friday approved a first round of charges in Mueller’s probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, though the document is sealed and the charges and person or people targeted are unknown, CNN reported.
Mueller was appointed in May to take over the investigation after Trump abruptly fired FBI Director James Comey. Mueller’s work reportedly has included examining any collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow, as well as any obstruction of justice by the president.
Trump has forcefully rejected allegations of collusion and did so again Sunday in rapid-fire tweets, calling them “phony.”
He repeated his case that the GOP is unified in anger at the lack of scrutiny into his former presidential campaign rival.
“There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!” he tweeted.
“All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform. Is this coincidental? NOT!” Trump continued.
Ty Cobb, Trump’s personal lawyer, said in statement he shared with Newsday that the president’s comments “are unrelated to the activities of the Special Counsel, with whom he continues to cooperate.”
The tweets came as discussions about Mueller’s reported indictment dominated TV talk shows Sunday.
On ABC News’ “This Week,” Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, speculated that the person charged could be former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort or Trump’s ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican and Trump ally, said, “The good news from the president’s perspective is he’s not under investigation.”
Trump appeared frustrated Sunday that there was not similar or equal attention paid to questions about Clinton.
He listed a Barack Obama-era deal on the sale of uranium to a Russian-controlled company, completed when Clinton was secretary of state, and the new revelation that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee, through their attorney, funded research that resulted in a dossier of mostly unverified allegations linking Trump to Russia.
A conservative publication, the Washington Free Beacon, had earlier and separately paid Fusion GPS, the same firm the Democrats used, for opposition research on Trump. And though individuals linked to Uranium One donated to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton was paid by a Russian bank for a speech in Moscow, fact-checkers have not found evidence of a rigged sale or influence over Hillary Clinton’s official actions.
Christie told CNN that Mueller has to be “very, very careful about making sure that the public believes that he has no conflicts and that his integrity is unquestioned.”
He was pressed on whether Mueller is considering potential obstruction of justice relating to the president’s firing of Comey. He told host Jake Tapper: “The last news that we’ve received, Jake, publicly, is that the president was told that he is not under investigation. We’ve heard nothing to the contrary.”
Schiff said he deduced from news reports that the person to be indicted could be Manafort or Flynn, but admitted he did not know for certain. “We haven’t been informed of who it is, and I don’t think it would been appropriate for Bob Mueller to tell us,” the congressman told ABC News.
Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney fired in March by Trump, tweeted Sunday: “This week, watch not only what Special Counsel Mueller does, but also how Trump responds.”