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 SchiffOvernight Defense: Trump steps up fight with California over guard deployment | Heitkamp is first Dem to back Pompeo for State | Dems question legality of Syria strikes Top Dems demand answers from Trump over legality of Syria strikes New York seeks authority to prosecute despite presidential pardons MORE (Calif.) fired back at President TrumpDonald John TrumpRand's reversal advances Pompeo New allegations could threaten Trump VA pick: reports President Trump puts on the pageantry for Macron’s visit 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 ClintonOvernight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit George H.W. Bush in intensive care GOP chairmen say they have deal with Justice on documents 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 SessionsPress: Why does Scott Pruitt still have a job? DOJ announces M grant to cover costs associated with Parkland shooting ‘Morning Joe’ host: Trump tweeting during Barbara Bush funeral ‘insulting’ to US MORE recused himself from the investigation. Trump compared Sessions to former President Obama’s attorney general, Eric HolderEric Himpton HolderComey's book tour is all about 'truth' — but his FBI tenure, not so much James Comey and Andrew McCabe: You read, you decide Eric Holder headed to New Hampshire for high-profile event 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 CorkerRand's reversal advances Pompeo Overnight Defense: Pompeo clears Senate panel, on track for confirmation | Retired officers oppose Haspel for CIA director | Iran, Syria on agenda for Macron visit Pompeo headed for confirmation after surprise panel vote 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.”