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Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenators shed masks after CDC lifts mandate This week: House to vote on Jan. 6 Capitol attack commission Gaetz compares allegations against him to earmarks: 'Everybody knows that that's the corruption' 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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyConservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization Lawmakers bicker over how to go after tax cheats On The Money: Biden says workers can't turn down job and get benefits | Treasury launches state and local aid | Businesses jump into vax push 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 SessionsOne quick asylum fix: How Garland can help domestic violence survivors Biden fills immigration court with Trump hires Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe FBI should turn off the FARA faucet John Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe MORE. President TrumpDonald TrumpGOP-led Maricopa County board decries election recount a 'sham' Analysis: Arpaio immigration patrol lawsuit to cost Arizona county at least 2 million Conservatives launch 'anti-cancel culture' advocacy organization 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 RosensteinProtect the police or the First Amendment? Rosenstein: Zero tolerance immigration policy 'never should have been proposed or implemented' Comey argues Trump shouldn't be prosecuted after leaving Oval Office MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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.