Top Democrats, Republicans Clash Over Developments in Department of Justice Probe

October 25, 2019 Updated: October 25, 2019

Top lawmakers clashed over the Department of Justice’s probe into the origins of the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign, with Democrats claiming Trump has politicized the department and Republicans pushing back.

The clashes took place amid reports that the department’s probe shifted from an administrative review to a criminal inquiry.

“These reports, if true, raise profound new concerns that the Department of Justice under AG Barr has lost its independence and become a vehicle for President Trump’s political revenge,” House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said in a joint statement late Oct. 24, linking to a New York Times report about the alleged shift.

“If the Department of Justice may be used as a tool of political retribution, or to help the President with a political narrative for the next election, the rule of law will suffer new and irreparable damage.”

Top GOP lawmakers pushed back, including Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

“I don’t believe the Durham investigation is a Witch Hunt—or at all improper. I never claimed the Mueller investigation was a Witch Hunt. Let the chips fall where they may!” Graham said on Oct. 25, referring to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is in charge of the current probe.

Rep. Doug Collins, ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, added in a statement: “The special counsel’s multi-million dollar investigation concluded that no Americans conspired with Russia in 2016. As a result of the empty accusations about this president and what the inspector general found to be bias at the top tiers of the FBI, Americans have unanswered questions about how the Russia investigation began.”

“Chairman Nadler is wrong to suggest that John Durham’s investigation is anything less than an effort to deliver truth and accountability. If Mr. Durham finds that crimes were committed, I have confidence that he will pursue justice and help restore America’s confidence in its premier law enforcement agency,” Collins added.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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