President Donald Trump said during a rally in Ohio that he wants to see some investigations into alleged wrongdoing surrounding surveillance programs into his 2016 campaign.
“Does anything happen? Nothing happens,” Trump said at an event in Dayton on Monday evening. “I’m so angry at Republicans. I am. I’m so angry. I am so angry, but a lot of things are happening.”
The White House for months has been trying to push for an investigation into former Obama officials over the FBI’s surveillance efforts into his campaign, which was dubbed Operation Crossfire Hurricane. Michael Horowitz, the inspector general for the Justice Department, said in December that the FBI’s attempts to obtain a FISA warrant on a Trump aide had numerous errors and omissions, among other problems.
“They spied on my campaign, and we caught ‘em,” Trump said at the event. “Let‘s now see what happens.”
Trump noted that he is trying “to stay out” of the Senate investigations. “I don’t have to actually, but it’s better if I do, I think,” he also said of investigations. “I’m trying to stay out of it, but it’s a disgrace that it’s taken this long.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the head of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, has said there will be a forthcoming report detailing allegations about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, a former two-term vice president, and his son, Hunter. He has been investigating Hunter Biden’s work for Ukrainian gas company, Burisma Holdings, when his father was the vice president.
Democrats and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) have panned Johnson’s investigation as politically motivated, namely in an election season, and is trying to damage Biden’s presidential bid.
Johnson’s panel recently voted to authorize more than three-dozen depositions and compel testimony from ex-FBI chief James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, and others.
A former FBI attorney pleaded guilty in September to altering an email during the probe as part of an investigation led by the U.S. Attorney leading the criminal investigation into Crossfire Hurricane, John Durham. More charges are possible, said Attorney General William Barr.
On Sept. 17, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) presented a resolution that claims that Johnson and Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-Iowa) probe into Hunter and Joe Biden is based on disinformation from Russia.
“My colleagues and I have drafted a simple resolution. It calls for the cessation of any Senate investigation or activity that allows Congress—the United States Congress—to act as a conduit for Russian disinformation,” Schumer said on the Senate floor last week. Johnson ultimately blocked it.
“If this is not violations of the Senate’s rules, it’s coming pretty darn close,” Johnson opined after blocking the resolution.
Trump also offered sympathy to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. He later said he was coerced into pleading guilty, and the Department of Justice took steps to end the prosecution of Flynn.
“What they’ve done to General Flynn and others is a disgrace,” Trump said in Ohio.
Masooma Haq contributed to this report.