- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 25, 2018

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer on Thursday staunchly defended the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Trump-Russia election collusion, characterizing recent Republican rhetoric as “an aggressive and coordinated — and I would say shameful — attack,” on the integrity of both.

“What began as an attempt to discredit the investigator has now devolved into delusional, self-serving paranoia,” Mr. Schumer said in prepared remarks on the Senate floor.

Recent weeks have witnessed increasing scrutiny of FBI behavior in the wake of revelations that an agent was removed from Mr. Mueller’s probe because of anti-Trump text messages.

Additionally, House Republicans are pushing hard to publicly release a memo, put together by Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, which claims to detail abuses by the Justice Department and FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to spy on Trump associates.

“For decades, The FBI has been our nation’s premier law enforcement agency — admired from one end of the country to the other, trusted with protecting our country against many-faced threats, from drug trafficking to white-collar crime to terrorism,” Mr. Schumer said.

He also dismissed GOP allegation that Mr. Mueller is politically biased against Mr. Trump.

“He’s [Mr. Mueller] a model public servant who spent decades earning the trust and reverence of both parties. He was known as somebody who was a registered Republican through my years here in Washington,” he said. “He wasn’t regarded as a partisan figure, somebody who would have vendettas, political or otherwise.”

“Since this investigation started,” Mr. Schumer continued, “our nation has to endure conspiracy after conspiracy from the right wing, Republican congressmen, Senators, and of course, the right-wing press. Conspiracies about ‘deep state’ leaks and unmasking requests; phone taps at Trump Tower; Uranium One; who paid for the so-called Steele Dossier … today, it’s this memo. On, and on, and on, conspiracy theories with virtually no fact. Paranoia, delusion. Why? Are they afraid of the truth of the Mueller investigation?”

Ending his Senate speech, Mr. Schumer said, “the Republican attacks on the credibility of the FBI and DOJ are playing right into Putin’s hands. They constitute an attack on democracy itself.”

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