Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenate Democrats demand answers on migrant child trafficking during pandemic Yates spars with GOP at testy hearing Vermont has a chance to show how bipartisanship can tackle systemic racism MORE (D-Vt.) is calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold an oversight hearing on the Trump administration's attacks on the FBI and Justice Department.

Leahy, a senior member on the committee, expressed his concern in a letter to Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - The choice: Biden-Harris vs. Trump-Pence Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause On The Money: McConnell says it's time to restart coronavirus talks | New report finds majority of Americans support merger moratorium | Corporate bankruptcies on pace for 10-year high MORE (R-Iowa), the panel's chairman, on Saturday about what he called the "attempted politicization of the FBI."

"Never has our Committee’s oversight authority of the Justice Department been more critical than now," Leahy wrote.

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"I fear the damage being done to the FBI, and to our nation’s institutions more broadly, will far outlast any current crises unless we take decisive, bipartisan action."

Leahy's call for a hearing came a day after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsHow would a Biden Justice Department be different? Kamala Harris: The right choice at the right time Three pros and three cons to Biden picking Harris MORE fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Senate GOP set to ramp up Obama-era probes Showtime miniseries to feature Jeff Daniels as Comey, Brendan Gleeson as Trump MORE. President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' MORE quickly praised that decision on Twitter, accusing McCabe of corrupt tactics.

Leahy's letter also came after John Dowd, a lawyer for Trump, issued a statement calling for Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinFBI officials hid copies of Russia probe documents fearing Trump interference: book Sally Yates to testify as part of GOP probe into Russia investigation Graham releases newly declassified documents on Russia probe MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) 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's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Dowd initially told the Daily Beast that he had issued the statement on behalf of the president, but later reversed on that claim, saying that he was speaking only in a personal capacity. 

Trump has repeatedly attacked the FBI and Justice Department, accusing officials of mishandling high-profile investigations and working to undermine his presidency. 

Mueller, whose investigative mandate gives him the authority to look into any peripheral matters that emerge as a result of the Russia probe, is also reportedly examining whether Trump has sought to obstruct the investigation.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Leahy blasted the president's attacks on law enforcement officials, and expressed concern that Mueller's investigation could also be at risk.

"I have never been so concerned that the walls intended to protect the independence of our dedicated law enforcement professionals, including Special Counsel Mueller, are at risk of crumbling," he said.