Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., criticized President Donald Trump on Friday, saying he is “doing Putin’s job for him” by questioning the impartiality of the FBI and the Department of Justice.
Shortly before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act memo drafted by Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes outlining government surveillance abuses against the Trump campaign was released, the president tweeted, “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago.”
He added, “Rank & File are great people!”
McCain put out a statement in response, saying, “The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.”
“The American people deserve to know all of the facts surrounding Russia’s ongoing efforts to subvert our democracy, which is why Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation must proceed unimpeded,” said McCain.
“Our nation’s elected officials, including the president, must stop looking at this investigation through the warped lens of politics and manufacturing partisan sideshows. If we continue to undermine our own rule of law, we are doing Putin’s job for him,” the senator concluded.
McCain’s sentiments are very consistent with those expressed by House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., as well as media outlets including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN.
All of them accused Trump of seeking to undermine the Russia investigation by not blocking the House Intelligence Committee from releasing Nunes’ memo.
The four-page memo includes information about what role the infamous Trump dossier — commissioned by liberal opposition research firm Fusion GPS and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee — played in the FBI obtaining FISA warrants to surveil the Trump team.
The dossier was compiled by former British spy Michael Steele, who according to Nunes’ memo, has animus toward Trump
“(The Committee’s) findings…1) raise concerns with the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established to protect the American people from abuses related to the FISA process,” wrote Nunes.
“Deputy Director (Andrew) McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information,” the memo states.
“Then-FBI Director James B. Comey signed three of the FISA applications, and Mr. McCabe signed one. Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, then-Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente, and Mr. Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications,” The Washington Times reported.
Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday that the abuses by the FBI and the DOJ outlined in the memo are “terrible.”
“I think it’s a disgrace, what’s happening in our country,” he said. “A lot of people should be ashamed of themselves, and much worse than that.”
Asked if he has confidence in Rosenstein staying on as deputy attorney general (overseeing the Russia investigation), Trump replied, “You figure that one out.”
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