Former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Trump punts on Stone pardon decision after sentencing Trump decries lack of 'fairness' in Stone trial ahead of sentencing MORE on Thursday expressed appreciation for the FBI standing up against "weasels and liars" as debate rages over a classified memo that purports to show political bias within the Justice Department.

"All should appreciate the FBI speaking up. I wish more of our leaders would," Comey tweeted.

ADVERTISEMENT

The bureau has come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks as Republicans seek the release of a classified memo, compiled by GOP staff and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesOvernight Energy: Trump signs order to divert water to California farmers | EPA proposes new rollback to Obama coal ash rules | Green group ranks Bloomberg, Klobuchar last in climate plans Trump signs order diverting water to California farmers against state wishes California newspaper says it was excluded from event with Nunes, Bernhardt MORE (R-Calif.), that reportedly contains allegations of surveillance program abuses during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The FBI issued a rare public statement this week saying it had “grave concerns” about the memo, adding that some information in the document was inaccurate and misleading. FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly reiterated those concerns directly to the White House.

The FBI Agents Association on Thursday issued a statement in support of Wray as the conflicts over the memo reached a fever pitch.

Despite concerns from top officials at the Justice Department and FBI, President TrumpDonald John TrumpComey responds to Trump with Mariah Carey gif: 'Why are you so obsessed with me?' Congress to get election security briefing next month amid Intel drama New York man accused of making death threats against Schumer, Schiff MORE is expected to allow the release of the memo, with an announcement expected Friday. 

Democrats have called for Nunes to be removed as House Intelligence chairman over the controversy. They have also authored a countermemo they say refutes many points in the GOP version, but Republicans on the Intelligence panel voted on party lines to reject its release.

Trump fired Comey as FBI director in May, an action that precipitated the appointment of special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE to investigate Russia's election interference. 

Comey has criticized the administration with varying degrees of openness since, writing on Twitter in December that he hopes "2018 brings more ethical leadership."