McCain: Attacks on FBI ‘serve no American interests’
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) fired back on Friday against growing criticism from President Trump 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 Nunes (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 Mueller’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 Ryan (R-Wis.) told reporters on Thursday.
But multiple sources told CNN that Trump believes the memo will help discredit the Russia investigation.
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