President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE lashed out on Monday at the Justice Department on Twitter, accusing the department and the FBI of “slow walking” documents requested by lawmakers to Congress.
“So sad that the Department of ‘Justice’ and the FBI are slow walking, or even not giving, the unredacted documents requested by Congress,” Trump tweeted. “An embarrassment to our country!”
So sad that the Department of “Justice” and the FBI are slow walking, or even not giving, the unredacted documents requested by Congress. An embarrassment to our country!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2018
Conservative lawmakers in the House have subpoenaed the Justice Department for documents in the course of an investigation into what Republicans say is potential abuse and criminality at the department during the 2016 presidential race.
Democrats have described the probe, led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteThe job of shielding journalists is not finished Bottom line No documents? Hoping for legalization? Be wary of Joe Biden MORE (R-Va.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey GowdyTrey GowdyTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows Pompeo rebukes Biden's new foreign policy MORE (R-S.C.), as a partisan distraction aimed at muddying the waters around 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 President Trump's campaign and Russia.
Specifically, GOP lawmakers want to see a tranche of more than a million documents examined by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is conducting a parallel probe into decision-making during the 2016 race.
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently announced the bureau was doubling the number of personnel working to respond to the document requests, to 54 staffers working in two shifts from 8 a.m. to midnight. Lawmakers have received about 3,000 documents so far.
The tweet, sent out the morning after Easter, is the latest salvo in Trump’s ongoing criticism of the Department of Justice. He has previously tweeted that the reputation of the FBI is “in tatters.”
It comes just days after Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE informed lawmakers that, for now, he will not be ceding to Republican demands for a second special counsel to investigate a swath of allegations related to the department's conduct during the presidential race.
Trump's attacks on the Justice Department have made even some Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill uncomfortable. Gowdy called the president's rhetoric “not helpful" in a recent interview with The Hill.
But Republicans believe there is evidence that bias crept into decisions made in both the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAttorney charged in Durham investigation pleads not guilty Attorney indicted on charge of lying to FBI as part of Durham investigation Durham seeking indictment of lawyer with ties to Democrats: reports MORE’s use of a private email server and the counterintelligence probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
They point to a series of text messages between two FBI employees who worked in some capacity on both probes as evidence of anti-Trump bias within the department. The messages were critical of Trump and other political figures during the campaign.
House conservatives celebrated the recommendation by an internal FBI department that handles personnel matters that Deputy Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeAndrew McCabe says Nassar case represents 'worst dereliction of duty' he's seen at FBI Capitol Police warning of potential for violence during rally backing rioters: report McCabe says law enforcement should take upcoming right-wing rally 'very seriously' MORE, a longtime GOP target, be dismissed for allegedly misleading investigators.
And lawmakers have also raised alarm bells about allegations of surveillance abuse raised by a controversial memo authored by staff for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesLIVE COVERAGE: Ways and Means begins Day 2 on .5T package Biden faces unfinished mission of evacuating Americans Nunes sues MSNBC, alleging Rachel Maddow defamed him MORE (R-Calif.).
“What would be most helpful would be say is, it is the world’s premier law enforcement agency, it’s had a rough 18 months, [but] we’re gonna get to the bottom factually,” Gowdy said.
Horowitz is expected to issue a report on his investigation into the matter this month.