Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Judiciary Dem calls for hearing on Trump's FBI attacks

Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyAppropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid House panel investigating decision to resume federal executions Graham moves controversial asylum bill through panel; Democrats charge he's broken the rules 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 GrassleyGOP senators call for Barr to release full results of Epstein investigation Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority' Environmental advocates should take another look at biofuels 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 SessionsLewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Nadler subpoenas Lewandowski, former White House official for testimony MORE fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeThe Hill's Morning Report — Will Congress do anything on gun control? McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing McCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump MORE. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? 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 RosensteinWhy the presumption of innocence doesn't apply to Trump McCabe sues FBI, DOJ, blames Trump for his firing Rosenstein: Trump should focus on preventing people from 'becoming violent white supremacists' MORE to end special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report 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.