Remember when Trump led his rabid fan base in chants of “lock her up” over Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified emails? As it turns out, classified information doesn’t seem like such a big deal to him anymore.
As you may have heard in recent days and weeks, controversial House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has produced a memo outlining his purported findings of bias at the highest levels of the FBI.
This memo comes after the Trump team both falsely alleged that Trump Tower had been wiretapped by the Obama administration and alleged that a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act clearance to spy on Trump associates had been obtained through inappropriately politically charged means.
Nunes’ memo, according to Republicans, contains information that, even if it doesn’t prove the made-up claims that Trump Tower was wiretapped, does prove that the FBI has operated with bias against President Trump, something that he’s maintained for some time.
There’s just one problem — the memo contains classified information.
There have been an array of calls from Republicans for the memo to be released, but it hasn’t yet. Congressional members, including those on Nunes’ committee itself, have the final say in whether or not the memo should be released.
Now, The Washington Post is reporting that the president is unsurprisingly on Congressional Republicans’ side in this matter. According to the publication, last Wednesday, he directed his chief of staff John Kelly to get in touch with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and urge him to support the memo being released.
The Justice Department has expressed opposition to the memo being released without an official review being conducted of it — and the FBI was reported earlier this week to have not even had their requests to review a copy of the memo before its release honored.
A senior administration official speaking to The Post said that Trump is “inclined to have that released just because it will shed light,” adding: “Apparently all the rumors are that it will shed light, it will help the investigators come to a conclusion.”
Pushing for the memo to be released is not the first time that the president has taken moves against the integrity and independence of the Justice Department. He’s done so through methods ranging from his abrupt firing of the FBI Director to his recently reported never carried out directive to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates is not impressed, commenting, as The Post reports:
‘If you get to what’s most essential and important and, I think, really damaging to our country, beyond just the confines of this administration, it’s this attack on our democratic institutions and particularly the Department of Justice… It seems like there are almost weekly efforts to try to get DOJ to open up a case on his former political rival… to the near daily attacks on the FBI. We’ve never seen anything anywhere close to this before.’
For now, the Russia investigation is continuing whether the president likes it or not, with all indications pointing to Mueller’s focus being on answering the question of whether or not the president should be considered guilty of obstruction of justice, and if so, why.
Mueller’s next target may be the president himself, with Trump saying that he’s ready and willing to sit down for an interview.
Featured Image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images