Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., said she is worried that President Trump is attempting to "shut down" all vestiges of the federal government other than the presidency, effectively paving the way for a dictatorship.
The congresswoman pointed to Trump's recent attacks against the Justice Department and FBI as evidence.
"I am concerned that the president of the United States is systematically trying to shut down every possible branch of government but the presidency," Speier said on MSNBC on Tuesday. "So you got him attacking the judiciary, you have him attacking the CIA, you have him attacking the Department of Justice, the FBI. I mean this is the conduct of someone who could become a tyrant if we don’t step in and speak out against him.”
I am concerned that the President is trying to shut down every branch of the federal government except for the presidency. pic.twitter.com/oSNQCa0Xmt— Jackie Speier (@RepSpeier) December 26, 2017
Trump has been critical of all the agencies mentioned by Speier in the past, but lately his ire has been set upon the FBI. During the long Christmas weekend and into Tuesday the president repeatedly targeted the FBI, tweeting Tuesday that the agency is "tainted" and the agency used the “bogus” Trump dossier — which contains unverified information about Trump's ties to Russia — as the basis for investigating his presidential campaign.
Over the past few days Trump also tore into the FBI's longtime general counsel James Baker, who has reportedly been reassigned as his potential role in leaking the infamous Trump dossier has come under scrutiny, and the FBI’s controversial second-in-command, Andrew McCabe.
When asked about these smears Speier said in a separate interview with CNN that Trump "does not respect the rule of law," and warned that he does not respect "the various agencies that are charged with responsibility of protecting us."
RT CNNnewsroom: Rep. Jackie Speier: "This President does not respect the rule of law... He is constantly putting down the very institutions that keep us free"https://t.co/PGZfAtp8sN https://t.co/61OvDYvFN5— 娜娜 (@nnnana88) December 26, 2017
Speier, who is a member of the House intelligence panel, also recently raised the alarm about what Trump may do to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller, whose team is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Trump has called the probe a "witch hunt" in the past and other Republicans are increasing fed up with revelations of possible anti-Trump bias.
Speier said earlier this month that there was a "rumor on the Hill" that Trump would move to fire Mueller before Christmas. Christmas was Monday and Trump has yet to push Mueller out.