Trump-Mueller report: 'Breakdown-level anxiety' among White House aides concerned release will out them to president
More than a dozen current and former administration personnel cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia, according to NBC News.
The report is expected to be made public in redacted form by attorney general William Barr on Thursday, following pressure from Congress to release the findings in full.
Some officials and their lawyers have allegedly asked the Justice Department to clarify if the report will make their identities obvious out of fear over Mr Trump or his allies’ reaction if it reveals they criticised the president or revealed negative information about him.
“They got asked questions and told the truth, and now they’re worried the wrath will follow,” a former Trump official told NBC.
One person close to the White House told NBC News there was “breakdown-level anxiety” among current and former officials who spoke with Mr Mueller’s office at the direction of the president’s legal team.
The Justice Department has not specified a time and provided no insight into how much of Mr Mueller’s report will be redacted upon release on 18 April, but the president is already ramping up his attacks on those involved in the probe.
“The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax,” Mr Trump falsely tweeted on Monday.
In fact, Mr Mueller is a registered Republican and there is no suggestion his team engaged in a partisan investigation.
Mr Trump on Wednesday doubled down on this claims, wrongly claiming the Russia probe was initiated by “dirty cops” and Hillary Clinton.
Mr Barr, in a four-page summary to Congress last month, reported Mr Mueller had cleared Mr Trump and his campaign of colluding with Russia, but said the former FBI director had steered clear of ruling on whether the president obstructed justice.
Mr Trump claimed the investigation exonerated him on both counts, something that was not true. He also pressed Mr Barr to launch an investigation into why the FBI began its probe of members of his campaign team, claiming he was the victim of an “attempted coup”.