President Donald Trump on Tuesday said House Democrats’ decision to launch multiple investigations of him and his associates — including a massive documents request — marks the start of the 2020 campaign season.
“They want to do that instead of getting legislation done,” Trump told reporters during a veterans event at the White House. “Basically they’ve started the campaign. So the campaign begins.”
House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, on Monday wrote to 81 individuals and entities requesting information for his panel’s investigation.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders issued a statement that evening calling Democrats’ investigation a “fishing expedition,” because Democrats sense Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s coming report will not show coordination between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russians.
“Instead of doing infrastructure, instead of doing healthcare,” Trump said of Democrats, “they want to play games.”
The president claimed he would “rather see them do legislation,” charging the opposition party with choosing “to focus on nonsense.”
But Democrats contend they see a pattern of misdeeds, abuses of power and criminal acts spanning the president’s business career, presidential campaign and time in the Oval Office.
“The Moscow Trump Tower deal, for example, is among the most disturbing because that’s something the president was pursuing throughout the midst of the presidential campaign, while saying he was having no business dealings with the Russians,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff told CBS News on Sunday.
“That was a deal that stood to make him more money than any other deal in his life,” the California Democrat said. “We’re also looking at persistent allegations that the Russians have been laundering money through the Trump Organization.”
Earlier Tuesday, the president used a morning tweet to appear to threaten legislative gridlock if House Democrats continued with their probes.
During a press conference the morning after Democrats took control of the House in November’s midterm elections, Trump warned he would create gridlock in Washington by going to a “war-like posture” if he determined their probes of his 2016 campaign, businesses and presidency were going too far. He appeared to be back at that on Tuesday morning.
“81 letter sent to innocent people to harass them,” Trump wrote. “They won’t get ANYTHING done for our Country!”