President Trump lashed out at House Democratic leaders on Tuesday, saying they have “gone stone cold CRAZY” by opening a far-reaching corruption investigation that began with demands for documents from 81 people and organizations associated with him.
In morning tweets, Trump said that letters sent Monday were meant to harass “innocent people” and were born of Democrats’ frustration for not being able to prove coordination between Trump’s campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign.
“Now that they realize the only Collusion with Russia was done by Crooked Hillary Clinton & the Democrats, Nadler, Schiff and the Dem heads of the Committees have gone stone cold CRAZY,” Trump wrote, referring to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (Calif.).
“81 letter sent to innocent people to harass them,” Trump wrote. “They won’t get ANYTHING done for our Country!”
In subsequent tweets, Trump accused Democrats of conducting a “big, fat, fishing expedition” and wrote in all capital letters, “PRESIDENTIAL HARASSMENT!”
The president’s angry response came a day after Nadler sent letters demanding all communication in connection with a host of controversies surrounding Trump, as the panel looks into whether the president and his administration have engaged in obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power.
The document request seeks information from Trump’s two adult sons, business associates and political confidants, among others. It touches on a wide array of matters, including the president’s business dealings with Russia, the firing of James B. Comey as FBI director and hush payments made to women who say they had affairs with Trump.
Nadler said Monday that House Democrats have “a responsibility to investigate these matters and hold hearings for the public to have all the facts.” He pledged to move quickly.
But the extensive scope could bolster claims by Trump and Republicans that congressional Democrats are seeking to undermine the president and cripple his 2020 reelection effort rather than conduct a disciplined fact-finding inquiry.
Even some Democrats are voicing concern about that.
“Maybe I’m missing something, but the hazard of an omnibus document demand by House judiciary versus discreet, serial ones is that, however legitimate the areas of inquiry, the wide-ranging nature of it is too easily plays into the ‘witch-hunt’ meme,” David Axelrod, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote Monday on Twitter.
In a tweet Monday night, Trump quoted Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity asserting that Democrats’ tactics amount to “modern day McCarthyism.”
Nadler’s requests came on the same day that three other House committee chairmen, including Schiff, wrote letters to the White House and the State Department requesting documents related to Trump’s communication with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing “profound national security, counterintelligence, and foreign policy concerns.”
Congressional investigations of Russian election interference remain ongoing, as does an inquiry by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is also examining whether Trump sought to obstruct his investigation.
Eric Trump, one of the president’s sons who helps lead the Trump Organization, also spoke out Tuesday about a document request he received from Nadler.
“I mean, these people are so desperate,” he said of Democrats during an appearance on Fox News Radio. “I mean, that’s what it comes down to. If you can’t win, what do you do? You obstruct, you try and impeach, you try and harass, you try and distract. I mean, that’s all these people know how to do. I mean, they can’t win.”
Rachael Bade contributed to this report.