Trump Says FBI Leadership Politicized 'Sacred Investigative Process'

President Donald Trump has accused the FBI and Justice Department of politicizing the investigation into his campaign’s alleged ties to Russian election interference to the benefit of Democrats.

The president’s tweeted accusations early Friday came ahead of the expected release of a controversial memo that claims the FBI improperly surveilled Trump campaign members.

“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.

02_02_Trump U.S. President Donald Trump smiles during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives January 30. Trump has cleared the way for the release of a controversial memo about the ongoing investigation into his campaign's alleged ties with Russia. Win McNamee/Getty Images

The president targeted the leadership of America’s top law enforcement agency, calling the rank and file “great people!”

Trump has told friends in recent phone calls that the release of the memo, written by Republican congressional aides, will allow him to argue more easily that investigations in Congress and by special counsel Robert Mueller are biased against him, two sources told CNN. Investigators are attempting to establish whether the Trump campaign aided Russia’s alleged 2016 election interference.

Last May Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he fired former FBI Director James Comey for his role in the Russia investigation. The president also reportedly put pressure on the Justice Department and FBI to remove Deputy Director Andrew McCabe from the investigation. McCabe resigned on Monday.

In another tweet Friday, Trump quoted conservative activist and President of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton when he wrote: “You had Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party try to hide the fact that they gave money to GPS Fusion to create a Dossier which was used by their allies in the Obama Administration to convince a Court misleadingly, by all accounts, to spy on the Trump Team.”

The controversial four-page memo was drafted by Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and his staff on the oversight body. Trump reviewed the document Wednesday and plans to tell Congress that he doesn’t object to its release, the White House told CNN Thursday.

In a rare statement Wednesday the FBI said it has “grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy.” FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump last August, has reportedly told the White House the memo presents a false narrative. The FBI Agents Association put out a statement in support of Wray Thursday.

Read more: Trump aide Hope Hicks allegedly pledged emails about Trump Tower Russia meeting would “never get out”

One of the memo’s main claims is said to be that investigators relied on an unverified dossier compiled by former British intelligence agency Christopher Steele to get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant to spy on an American citizen in Trump’s campaign. Such warrants are difficult to obtain, but experts say these claims defy the warrant’s multi-layered application process.  

Democrats on the committee have drafted their own memo about the same intelligence information, but Republicans on the committee voted against its release.

The Republican memo is predicted to reflect badly on Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s probe of the Trump campaign, and allegations the president obstructed justice by attempting to stymie the FBI’s original investigation.

Trump and Republicans have been working in recent months to discredit Mueller’s probe. The president has described as a "hoax" the findings of American intelligence agencies last year that Moscow worked to interfere in the election in 2016.

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