U.S.

Mueller Investigation Is 'Trying to Frame' Trump, Giuliani Tells Hannity

Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he believes special counsel Robert Mueller is “trying to frame” the president.

Russia is accused by American intelligence agencies of attempting to undermine the presidential election by stoking division in society and trying to swing the result for Trump through cyberwarfare. The Kremlin denies this.

Mueller is investigating suspicions of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. President Trump has called the probe a “political witch hunt” fuelled by bias against him among investigators past and present, and denies any collusion with Russia.

Giuliani told Hannity on his Tuesday night show that Trump was “vindicated” after a report by the inspector general at the Department for Justice criticized Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent, for sending anti-Trump text messages to one of the agency’s lawyers during the Hillary Clinton emails investigation.

Rudy Giuliani Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks at the 2018 Iran Freedom Convention in Washington, U.S., May 5, 2018. Giuliani, now working as a lawyer for President Donald Trump, believes the Mueller inquiry is trying to frame Trump. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Strzok, who was a deputy assistant director at the FBI, later worked as a key figure in the Mueller investigation before he was removed in December 2017 when reports of the anti-Trump texts first emerged. Strzok was led from the FBI building on Tuesday.

The inspector general’s report was critical of FBI staff, including the “insubordinate” former director James Comey, but found no evidence of a conspiracy against Trump. It also found no evidence the decision not to prosecute Clinton was taken due to political bias.

Giuliani said the report disclosed anti-Trump texts from others at the FBI, who are unnamed, and he believes they may be working on the Mueller inquiry, leaving the president’s cooperation with investigators—who want to question him—in doubt.

“As I said the other night, the investigators now need to be investigated if we're going to see justice here,” Giuliani told Hannity. “And I'd be darned if we're going to go forward with any kind of cooperation with them if I think there's any doubt that these people are trying to frame him. And I'm beginning not only to doubt it, I'm beginning to believe it.”

A spokesman for the Department of Justice declined to comment.

Giuliani called the Mueller probe "a witch hunt with no evidence and nothing else but a bunch of people who hate him, hate Republicans, hate anything that he stands for and vowed to get him no matter what."

He added that he thinks it is "very close to being thrown out" because it is compromised by what was contained the inspector general’s report.

This article was updated to include that the DoJ declined to comment.

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