Trump calls leadership of FBI, justice department ‘politicised’
Discrediting the Russia probe will help Trump deal with an issue that has dogged his presidency from the start, and which he has called a “witch-hunt”.Updated: Feb 02, 2018 22:03 IST
Escalating his war on his own department of justice and the FBI that it oversees, President Donald Trump on Friday accused their “top leadership” — all of whom were appointed by him — of having “politicised the sacred investigative process” and harbouring an anti-Republican party bias.
Both the department of justice and the FBI have publicly opposed the release of a classified memo put together by a congressional committee that reportedly argued the Russia probe was launched against a Trump campaign operative using questionable methods and evidence.
Trump, however, wants it released: discrediting the Russia probe will help him deal with an issue that has dogged his presidency from the start, and which he has called a “witch-hunt”.
On Friday, the president lashed out in a tweet: “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!”
Department of justice is headed by attorney general Jeff Sessions, a long-time Senator who became an early supporter of candidate Trump but who since his appointment has been in the president’s cross-hairs. His deputy Rob Rosenstein was also appointed by the president, who however has felt unsure of his choice.
FBI director Christopher Wray was appointed by President Trump after he had fired James Comey, who had refused to back down on the Russia probe. The reason cited, incredulously, was Comey’s handling of the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during his tenure as secretary of state.
Wray could have invited the president’s wrath over a statement issued by the FBI earlier in the week publicly expressing “grave concerns” about “material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy”. There have also been concerns that the release could compromise intelligence gathering.