President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that leading officials at the Department of Justice and the FBI have “politicized the sacred investigative process.” This comes as the White House is expected to release a memo prepared by congressional Republicans concerning the Obama administration’s investigation into supposed collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign officials and Russia. Trump tweeted, “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!”

While investigations into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election, President Trump has continued to clash with the FBI. His tweet on Friday emphasized his pique against high-ranking government officials rather than any "rank and file" bureaucrats. 

Trump is expected to release the controversial memo on Friday. Compiled by Republican staffers for House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the memo has been viewed by both Democrats and Republicans of the House of Representatives. Its contents have not been made public, but Republicans have said that it alleges surveillance abuses committed by the FBI and DOJ. The resulting political firestorm has pitted Democrats against Republicans over its contents.

Democrats charge that the integrity of the FBI is at stake, as well as its sources and methods. They also claim that the memo contains data cherry-picked by Republicans. The Democrats have their own memo, which they have not yet released, and charge that the Republicans’ memo, which was sent to the White House for eventual release, is politically motivated and has been redacted. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Oregon) told Fox News on Friday that the Republicans’ memo should be released. Speaking to the Democrats’ charges, Walden said that “there is no ‘there’ there.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted that it is “unthinkable” that Trump would release classified information to attack the FBI. He tweeted, “No, Mr. President it’s worse than that. The country’s top elected leader has agreed to selectively and misleadingly release classified info to attack the FBI — that’s what would have been unthinkable a short time ago.”

This week, FBI Director Christopher Wray pleaded with the White House to refrain from releasing the memo, citing a concern over revealing the agency’s sources and methods. 

The House is scheduled to hold a brief session with no votes at 4:30 p.m. on Friday on whether to provide House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) a venue to publish the memo once the president has consented to releasing it. 

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) seeks the release of the Democrats’ memo. His office has cited Ryan’s desire for transparency for favoring that memo’s release, as long as it does not reveal the intelligence community’s sources and methods.
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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