President Donald Trump has indicated that he will release the controversial Republican memo accusing the FBI of abusing its surveillance power during the investigation into Trump campaign collusion in Russia’s meddling during the 2016 election — all while ignoring calls from federal law enforcement to reconsider.
In doing so, Trump attacked the leaders of both the FBI and the Department of Justice — including those he appointed to their posts — on Twitter for being behind a political conspiracy against Republicans and in favor of Democrats. Trump believes the memo will show bias against the Trump administration, which he will use to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigations.
“The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “Rank & File are great people!”
The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2018
In essence, Trump is now setting himself against FBI Director Christopher Wray, who he nominated after firing James Comey in May 2017. Trump had initially claimed he fired Comey over the FBI’s mistreatment of Democrat Hillary Clinton during the investigation into her email server, but then said “this Russia thing” played a factor in Comey’s exit.
Trump’s repeated attacks against federal institutions also led to the perhaps forced resignation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who had been set to retire in March anyhow. Trump first came to believe McCabe was biased against him because his wife ran for Virginia state Senate, supported by the Democratic Party. She received a significant contribution from former Governor Terry McAuliffe’s PAC, and McAuliffe is close to the Clintons.
During a 2017 meeting with McCabe, Trump asked him who he voted for in the 2016 election.
What’s also interesting is that Wray, Comey, McCabe and other FBI and Justice Department heads at the center of this saga — including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats — are all members of the Republican Party.
Many top FBI and Justice Department officials have asked Trump not to release the memo drafted by Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee due to inaccuracies in the document, but Trump does not appear to be listening.
And in his Friday tweet, Trump specified that he had no problem with the “rank and file” members of the FBI — an interesting specification since Fox News’ Sean Hannity said nearly the same thing on his show late on Thursday night — a program he is known to be fond of.
Nine hours apart. pic.twitter.com/mLsbTVzG2C
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) February 2, 2018