Russia probe trial begins: Collusion is not a crime: Donald Trump

Trump urges Mueller to admit conflict of interest in pending investigation

14 months since Special Counsel Robert Mueller began his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections that would also look at possible collusion between Trump's campaign team with Russians, President Donald Trump is parroting a new line of defence.

Trump using bad words stressed on the piece of information that there was no conspiracy, asserting that the "Witch Hunt" was a fixed one as it was commenced by a fake Dossier, and was funded by "Crooked Hillary" and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Trump unleashed a new broadside against Mueller and his investigation late Sunday, accusing the prosecutor of undisclosed "conflicts of interest" involving him, "including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship". Giuliani also said that he was not sure whether Trump would pardon his former legal counsel Michael Cohen, who is under a criminal investigation.

"Collusion is not a crime, but that doesn't matter because there was No Collusion (except by Crooked Hillary and the Democrats)!"

GIULIANI on Fox News on Monday: "I have been sitting here looking in the federal code trying to find collusion as a crime.Collusion is not a crime".

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Giuliani said, however, that if Trump does sit for an interview, he would only agree to answer questions about whether his campaign colluded with Russian Federation to help him win, not questions, except in a very limited way, about obstruction. "Therefore, the witch hunt is an illegal scam", Mr Trump said. When Mueller's 10-year term was about to expire in 2011, President Barack Obama asked him to stay on the job for an additional two years, and the Senate unanimously approved that extension. "But there's no collusion", Trump said. A spokesman for Mueller told The Washington Post that there was no dispute when Mueller left the club.

The President's lawyers had previously offered the special counsel written answers to obstruction questions and limiting the interview to matters before his presidential inauguration, which are largely confined to collusion.

However, the Russia investigation began in July 2016 when the FBI reacted to a tip from Australian officials who said George Papadopoulos told them about alleged Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton, according to the Times. "Not surprised these guys are fighting, but whatever you think of the Mueller investigation, and you could believe it's time to wrap it up, no one is alleging that Robert Mueller is a bully and a liar except for these three bullies and liars".

An element of Mueller's investigation includes whether Trump or anyone in the campaign tried to obstruct justice. If it wishes, Congress could start impeachment proceedings against Trump.

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