McCain: Attacks on FBI 'serve no American interests'
© Greg Nash

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe best way to handle veterans, active-duty military that participated in Capitol riot Cindy McCain on possible GOP censure: 'I think I'm going to make T-shirts' Arizona state GOP moves to censure Cindy McCain, Jeff Flake MORE (R-Ariz.) fired back on Friday against growing criticism from President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE and GOP lawmakers of the FBI, warning they are only bolstering Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

McCain's comments come as a controversial Republican memo accusing the Department of Justice and the FBI of "shocking" abuses of power is expected to be released shortly.  

"Elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this [Russia] investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows," McCain said in a statement. 

He added that "the latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests — no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s."

A White House spokesperson said on Friday that the president has approved the release of the memo, compiled for Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Bill Belichick turns down Medal of Freedom from Trump Trump gives Medal of Freedom to House ally Jim Jordan MORE (R-Calif.). The memo is said to contain allegations of the FBI improperly surveilling a Trump campaign aide's communications.

Trump has seized on the memo as evidence of bias in the top ranks of the intelligence community. 

"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," he said in a tweet. 

But McCain fired back on the GOP attacks, warning that the rhetoric is doing long-term damage to the country. 

"If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him," he said. 

He added: "While we have no evidence that these [Russian] efforts affected the outcome of our election, I fear they succeeded in fueling political discord and dividing us from one another."

GOP leadership has tried to separate the GOP-compiled memo from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's investigation. 

"This memo is not an indictment of the FBI or the Justice Department. It does not impugn the Mueller investigation," House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan will attend Biden's inauguration COVID-19 relief bill: A promising first act for immigration reform National Review criticizes 'Cruz Eleven': Barbara Boxer shouldn't be conservative role model MORE (R-Wis.) told reporters on Thursday. 

But multiple sources told CNN that Trump believes the memo will help discredit the Russia investigation.