Top Intel Dem to Trump: Justice Dept belongs 'to the American people,' not you

Top Intel Dem to Trump: Justice Dept belongs 'to the American people,' not you
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Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mueller has subpoenaed Bannon in Russia probe: report MORE (Calif.) fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE after the commander in chief asserted he has the “absolute right” to do what he wants with the Department of Justice, telling Trump “no, you don’t.”

“You can do what you want with your golf courses,” Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, tweeted Friday. “But the country and its Justice Department belong to the American people."

In an interview with The New York Times Thursday, Trump was asked if he would reopen an investigation into former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE’s email use during her time as secretary of State.

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"I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department. But for purposes of hopefully thinking I’m going to be treated fairly, I’ve stayed uninvolved with this particular matter," Trump said.

Schiff has emerged as one of the White House's chief critics over special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into Russia's election meddling, saying evidence of coordination between Moscow and the Trump campaign looks "pretty damning." 

"The Russians offered help. The campaign accepted help. The Russians gave help. And the president made full use of that help," Schiff said earlier this month.

Trump said during this week's interview it was “too bad” that Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants DOJ wades into archdiocese fight for ads on DC buses Overnight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector MORE recused himself from the investigation. Trump compared Sessions to former President Obama’s attorney general, Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderFlake's anti-Trump speech will make a lot of noise, but not much sense Former Fox News correspondent James Rosen left amid harassment allegations: report Issa retiring from Congress MORE.

“I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him,” Trump told the newspaper. “When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest.”

Trump has previously railed against the Justice Department, calling for an investigation into Clinton and other Democrats and saying “a lot of people are disappointed” by the department.

Those comments drew ire from Sen. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerSenate campaign fundraising reports roll in Congress should take the lead on reworking a successful Iran deal North Korea tensions ease ahead of Winter Olympics MORE (R-Tenn.), who blasted Trump in November, calling the remarks “totally inappropriate” and saying Trump’s comments "not only undermine our justice system but erode the American people’s confidence in our institutions.”