A Democratic lawmaker is calling the reassignment of the FBI’s top lawyer part of the “larger Republican effort to undercut” special counsel Robert Mueller.
"This is part of the larger Republican effort undercut the Mueller investigation by baselessly discrediting the FBI. The President can’t fire him so they want to either discredit him so he can’t continue or so President Trump can get away with firing him," Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi tweeted early Saturday. "We can’t afford either."
This is part of the larger Republican effort undercut the Mueller investigation by baselessly discrediting the FBI. The President can’t fire him so they want to either discredit him so he can’t continue or so President Trump can get away with firing him. We can’t afford either. https://t.co/L26Qu6L8Cp— Raja Krishnamoorthi (@CongressmanRaja) December 23, 2017
The Illinois Democrat’s comments come days after James Baker — the FBI’s top lawyer — told colleagues he is being reassigned to other duties at the FBI.
The move, the Washington Post reported, is part of new FBI Director Christopher Wray’s efforts to redo his team of senior advisers as the GOP amps up its accusations of political bias in the bureau.
Krishnamoorthi’s tweet was a response to a tweet by James Comey, the FBI director before Wray.
“Sadly, we are now at a point in our political life when anyone can be attacked for partisan gain. James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better. He is what we should all want our public servants to be,” Comey said on Twitter late Friday night.
Republicans have long said the FBI was biased toward former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and those calls picked up steam after the release of text messages between two FBI employees showing anti-Trump, pro-Clinton sentiments. One of those FBI agents, Peter Strzok, was part of the investigation into Clinton’s private email server before joining Mueller’s team. He and another FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, were both removed from Mueller’s team.
Congressional Republicans have now also called Mueller’s Russia inquiry – which is looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign – biased because of the messages.