Donald Trump made one of his most direct attacks on Robert Mueller on Sunday, tweeting a quote from Rush Limbaugh saying that the special counsel and the team of investigators working with him should be thrown in jail.
Trump copied the remarks of the right-wing radio host, calling the Russia investigation a hoax and claiming that Mueller’s team was working with “Obama intelligence agencies” in an apparent effort to bring down Trump.
“These guys, the investigators, ought to be in jail. What they have done, working with the Obama intelligence agencies, is simply unprecedented. This is one of the greatest political hoaxes ever perpetrated on the people of this Country, and Mueller is a coverup,” Trump cited Limbaugh on Twitter.
For several months after Mueller was named special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation, Trump steered away from any direct attacks and did not mention Mueller by name on his Twitter feed. But that has changed in recent months as the Russia investigation has moved closer into Trump’s inner circle, leading to convictions for his former campaign manager and his former lawyer, and Trump has become increasingly aggressive in his attacks on Mueller.
These attacks are often tied to major developments in the Russia investigation. Last November, Trump launched a series of attacks on Mueller just after the special counsel’s office made a court filing accusing former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort of violating the terms of his plea deal.
Trump responded at the time by casting doubt on the intentions of the Russia investigation, which he had repeatedly called a politically motivated witch hunt. Trump also continued to take aim at Hillary Clinton, questioning why she was not being investigated more.
“Did you ever see an investigation more in search of a crime?” Trump tweeted at the time. “At the same time Mueller and the Angry Democrats aren’t even looking at the atrocious, and perhaps subversive, crimes that were committed by Crooked and the Democrats. A total disgrace!”
Manafort is facing decades in prison for his conviction on tax and bank fraud charges in Virginia, one of two federal cases against him https://t.co/duM95LZ89i— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 17, 2019
Trump’s latest attack on Mueller and the Russia investigation come after Mueller recommended to a judge that Manafort be sent to prison for up to 24.5 years for his convictions. If the judge follows the recommended guidelines, 69-year-old Manafort could likely spend the rest of his life in prison. But there have been reports that Trump is considering issuing a pardon for Manafort, speculation that Trump has not denied.