The president tweets more criticism of the main Justice Department and the FBI before telling Congress it can release a memo outlining supposed bias against Republicans in the investigative agencies.
President Trump said on Friday that the top officials and investigators at the FBI and main Justice Department had “politicized the sacred investigative process,” shortly before the White House is expected to clear the way for Congress to release a controversial memo that is said to describe a bias among senior officials in the agencies, reports the New York Times. The Twitter post reinforced reports that Trump, in allowing the memo to be released, is seeking to clean house in DOJ’s upper ranks, even at the risk of losing his own FBI director, Christopher Wray. Wray made an unusual public plea not to release the document, which could reveal classified sources and methods.
Blaming senior government officials for favoring Democratics over Republicans is among the main themes in the memo, which said to accuse federal law enforcement officials of abusing their authorities when they sought permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Trump had an opportunity to block the memo, which his own national security officials have requested. Still, the president was expected to tell Congress that the memo could be released without redactions. The document was written by aides to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and an avid supporter of Trump. Democrats say the memo is a Republican attempt to push a narrative that would undercut the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Former FBI Director James Comey has defended the agency on Twitter, writing, “All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would.” Comey urged his former colleagues to “take heart: American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up.”