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Trump, back at work, lashes out against impeachment on Twitter

Updated April 22, 2019 - 4:36 pm

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump returned to work at the White House Monday morning, following Thursday’s release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report that found no collusion between Russians and the president’s 2016 campaign.

But with the report’s refusal to come down either way on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice, Trump did not or could not move on from the swirl that surrounded the 22-month investigation.

As Democrats debated whether to pursue impeachment, Trump fought back on Twitter.

“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment. There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach. It was the Democrats that committed the crimes, not your Republican President! Tables are finally turning on the Witch Hunt!” Trump tweeted in a reference to the Democrats’ funding of a largely discredited dossier that linked Trump to the Kremlin.

Asked if he was worried about impeachment as he presided over the traditional White House Easter Egg Roll, Trump smiled and responded, “not even a little bit.”

After the Egg Roll, the Review-Journal asked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway whether White House staffers were ready to put the report behind them.

Conway answered that the special counsel’s probe “never should have happened in the first place. It should have been enough for me, for the president, for for others to say at the highest levels of the campaign, nobody was talking to the Kremlin,” she said.

“Nobody was colluding with Russia. There was no criminal conspiracy. … There’s no Michael Cohen in Prague. There’s no Donald Trump telling Michael Cohen what to say. The Buzzfeed article. The McClatchy article. All big lies which you all retweeted. And I would say, yes, I’m way past it,” she said.

Marc Sandalow, a political analyst with the University of California Washington program, said even if the Trump White House wanted to move past the probe, “Democrats won’t let them move on because there remains a lot of questions to be answered.”

Although President Bill Clinton pivoted to say he wanted to focus on working for the American people as he faced impeachment in the late 1990s, Sandalow added, “Trump has always made clear that when he’s attacked, he’ll strike back 10 times harder. He’s not the kind of person who moves on. He gets even.”

“I think he will move on” by engaging in policy issues, said former Trump campaign adviser Jeffrey Lord, as he pointed to the White House announcement Monday that the administration is ending waivers that have allowed some countries to sidestep economic sanctions against Iran.

Lord looked ahead to Saturday when the White House Correspondents Association holds its annual dinner, which Trump again will boycott while he holds a political rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The dinner, Lord said, is “so swampy” and “beltway-oriented,” but Trump will visit the heartland where “he will doubtless highlight this stuff, claim victory.”

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

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