Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyRepublicans raise concerns over Trump pardoning service members Lawmakers bypass embattled Mulvaney in spending talks Warren bill would revoke Medals of Honor for Wounded Knee massacre 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 GrassleyTrump escalates fight over tax on tech giants Falling impeachment support raises pressure for Democrats on trade Push to investigate Bidens sets up potential for Senate turf war 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 SessionsRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Iowa GOP lawmaker calls flying of trans flag above Capitol an act of the 'Rainbow Jihad' MORE fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeDOJ watchdog expected to say FBI erred, but absolve top leaders of anti-Trump bias: report CNN's McCabe restricted from talking about DOJ IG report The curious timeline for taking down Trump MORE. President TrumpDonald John TrumpStates slashed 4,400 environmental agency jobs in past decade: study Biden hammers Trump over video of world leaders mocking him Iran building hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq: report 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 RosensteinRosenstein, Sessions discussed firing Comey in late 2016 or early 2017: FBI notes Justice Dept releases another round of summaries from Mueller probe Judge rules former WH counsel McGahn must testify under subpoena MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump 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.