Hours before the expected release of a damning memo on FBI spying abuses, President Trump unleashed an early-morning tweet at a Justice Department he said has been “politicized” by Democrats.
The shot at the Justice Department came after much back and forth between the Department and its subsidiary FBI, which have argued against release of a memo summarizing the House Permanent Select Comittee on Intelligence probe of the department’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russia collusion.
GOP-led House investigators believe the FBI used a dubious dossier initially prepared as campaign opposition research to get permission from a secret federal court to eavesdrop on Trump campaign and transition team communications.
“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 wrote. “Rank & File are great people!”
Trump told a House member after his State of the Union speech that he would “100 percent” authorize release of the memo, which Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., helped author. The next day, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly reiterated the memo’s pending release, but the threat set off a flurry of lobbying by Justice Department officials to block it.
Democrats have attacked Nunes, accusing him of altering the memo and warning that its release could reveal and jeopardize federal investigative tactics.
Trump is believed to have sent the memo back to Nunes’ committee, with his blessing that it be released. But it is not clear if FBI Director Christipher Wray was successful in getting the White House to redact certain names, which reportedly could include that of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and ousted FBI official Andrew McCabe.