In a series of tweets, Donald Trump has lamented Hillary Clinton’s decision not to run in the 2020 election, branded a billionaire Democrat a “weirdo”, and accused Democrats of McCarthyism in the wake of a wide-ranging congressional investigation into his conduct.
“Aw-shucks, does that mean I won’t get to run against her again? She will be sorely missed!” Mr Trump tweeted sarcastically late on Tuesday afternoon, following Ms Clinton's announcement she would not again run for the presidency.
He next retweeted messages by his press secretary Sarah Sanders and Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, who both accused Democrats of a “fishing expedition” after the House judiciary committee opened a wide-ranging probe into the president.
The committee on Monday sent letters to 81 people and entities – including White House and Trump Organization officials – seeking documents they hope will help them tackle questions of possible corruption, obstruction of justice, campaign finance violations and collusion with Russia.
It also emerged on Tuesday that New York State regulators had served the Trump Organization’s insurance broker with an expansive subpoena, according to The New York Times. It is the first step of a probe into the Trump family business’s insurance policies and claims.
Quoting Hans von Spakovsky, a lawyer who was appointed to the president’s ill-fated commission on election integrity, Mr Trump repeated his claim Democrats are “copying Joseph McCarthy” and “don’t have any evidence of wrongdoing”.
Hans Von Spakovsky, “I haven’t seen any evidence of actual violations of the law, which is usually a basis before you start an investigation. Adam Schiff seems to be copying Joseph McCarthy in wanting to open up investigations when they don’t have any evidence of wrongdoing.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
In fact, Congress has access to a range of evidence pointing to misconduct and potential crimes, including documents provided last week by Mr Trump’s former lieutenant, Michael Cohen, suggesting the president knowingly covered up hush money payments to two alleged former mistresses.
The White House has refused to hand over documents related to an investigation into Jared Kushner's security clearance, and on Tuesday Mr Trump suggested he would refuse to hand over documents related to the House judiciary committee investigation into him.
Speaking at a White House event on Tuesday, Mr Trump wrongly claimed former president Barack Obama had refused to do the same when in office.
“President Obama, from what they tell me, was under a similar kind of a thing, didn’t get one letter. They didn’t do anything. They didn’t get one letter of the request, many requests were made, they didn’t get a letter,” he said.
Mr Obama did invoke executive privilege at least once in response to a congressional investigation, but otherwise handed over thousands of subpoenaed documents.
At just before midnight, Mr Trump attacked Tom Steyer, a billionaire hedge fund manager who has publicly called for the president’s impeachment, as “all talk”.
“Weirdo Tom Steyer doesn’t have the ‘guts’ or money to run for President,” Mr Trump tweeted, following speculation about a 2020 bid.