This morning, President Trump embarked on a doozy of a furious Twitter storm, raging against the FBI and Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation while calling for a Justice Department probe into itself to discover whether or not the monitoring of Donald Trump’s campaign team was motivated by partisan interest and not national security concerns.
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
The declaration is, of course, ridiculous. While the FBI did have an informant snooping on the Trump campaign, they only did so because of the overwhelming evidence that members of the Trump team were actively attempting to collude with Russian agents in order to tilt the election in his favor.
With the failure of his last few efforts to derail the investigation, like the hugely hyped but ultimately tepid revelation of the “memos” and the smear campaign against former Deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, it appears that Trump’s newest plan is to accuse President Obama’s DOJ of planting a “spy” in his campaign.
The ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, took to Twitter this afternoon to scold the President for his “nonsense” accusation against the DOJ and to shame him for his reckless conspiracy theories.
Trump’s claim of an embedded “spy” is nonsense. His “demand” DOJ investigate something they know to be untrue is an abuse of power, and an effort to distract from his growing legal problems. Never mind that DOJ has warned that lives and alliances are at risk. He doesn’t care. https://t.co/c1itPmiHnv
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 20, 2018
It absolutely is a serious abuse of power and a flagrant show of authoritarianism to order a federal agency an investigation into his political enemies, and whether or not the Department of Justice would comply is a whole other issue entirely.
But it’s clear that the president is reaching the end of his wits and his patience – and one shudders to think of what he might do when pushed to the brink. The future of our republic might hang in the balance.