Trump renews attack on Justice Department

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNFL freezes policy barring players from protesting during anthem McConnell spokesman on Putin visit: 'There is no invitation from Congress' Petition urges University of Virginia not to hire Marc Short MORE lashed out on Monday at the Justice Department on Twitter, accusing the department and the FBI of “slow walking” documents requested by lawmakers to Congress.

“So sad that the Department of ‘Justice’ and the FBI are slow walking, or even not giving, the unredacted documents requested by Congress,” Trump tweeted. “An embarrassment to our country!”

Conservative lawmakers in the House have subpoenaed the Justice Department for documents in the course of an investigation into what Republicans say is potential abuse and criminality at the department during the 2016 presidential race. 

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Democrats have described the probe, led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteWill Congress ever hold our federal agencies accountable for contempt? Lots of love: Charity tennis match features lawmakers teaming up across the aisle Dems try to end hearing on bias against conservatives in tech MORE (R-Va.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyWill Congress ever hold our federal agencies accountable for contempt? Dem lawmaker calls on House to subpoena American translator from Trump-Putin meeting The Hill's Morning Report — Trump isolated and denounced after Putin meeting MORE (R-S.C.), as a partisan distraction aimed at muddying the waters around special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE's investigation into President Trump's campaign and Russia.

Specifically, GOP lawmakers want to see a tranche of more than a million documents examined by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting a parallel probe into decision-making during the 2016 race.

FBI Director Christopher Wray recently announced the bureau was doubling the number of personnel working to respond to the document requests, to 54 staffers working in two shifts from 8 a.m. to midnight. Lawmakers have received about 3,000 documents so far.

The tweet, sent out the morning after Easter, is the latest salvo in Trump’s ongoing criticism of the Department of Justice. He has previously tweeted that the reputation of the FBI is “in tatters.”

It comes just days after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Key GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum MORE informed lawmakers that, for now, he will not be ceding to Republican demands for a second special counsel to investigate a swath of allegations related to the department's conduct during the presidential race.

Trump's attacks on the Justice Department have made even some Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill uncomfortable. Gowdy called the president's rhetoric “not helpful" in a recent interview with The Hill.

But Republicans believe there is evidence that bias crept into decisions made in both the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonProminent Putin critic: If Trump turns me over, I'm dead Dems unveil slate of measures to ratchet up pressure on Russia Trump tweets old video of Clinton talking up 'a strong Russia' MORE’s use of a private email server and the counterintelligence probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

They point to a series of text messages between two FBI employees who worked in some capacity on both probes as evidence of anti-Trump bias within the department. The messages were critical of Trump and other political figures during the campaign. 

House conservatives celebrated the recommendation by an internal FBI department that handles personnel matters that Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeBuck Wild: 'Is President Trump paranoid or is the Deep State out to get him?' Why does Congress keep playing political games on FBI oversight? FBI confidence in leaders sank after Comey was fired: report MORE, a longtime GOP target, be dismissed for allegedly misleading investigators.

And lawmakers have also raised alarm bells about allegations of surveillance abuse raised by a controversial memo authored by staff for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesNunes used political donations for K in NBA tickets, winery tours, Vegas trips: report Russia raises problems for GOP candidates GOP lawmaker regrets appearing on Alex Jones's radio show MORE (R-Calif.).

“What would be most helpful would be say is, it is the world’s premier law enforcement agency, it’s had a rough 18 months, [but] we’re gonna get to the bottom factually,” Gowdy said.

Horowitz is expected to issue a report on his investigation into the matter this month.