- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 17, 2018

President Trump’s personal attorney called on the Justice Department Saturday to immediately shut down special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, after Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

Attorney John Dowd said Mr. Mueller’s investigation has been “corrupted” by political bias since the beginning. He urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the probe, to close it down.

“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Mr. Dowd said in a statement to news outlets.

He added, “Just end it on the merits in light of recent revelations.”

Mr. Dowd said he was making the remarks in his own capacity and not on behalf of the president.

Mr. Comey, the former FBI director who is due to release a book soon, hit back at the president and his team Saturday.

“Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not,” Mr. Comey said on Twitter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, said Mr. Dowd’s comments indicate that Mr. Trump’s legal team is trying “not to cooperate with Special Counsel Mueller, but to undermine him at every turn.”

“The president, the administration, and his legal team must not take any steps to curtail, interfere with, or end the special counsel’s investigation or there will be severe consequences from both Democrats and Republicans,” Mr. Schumer said in a statement.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, a Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called on Republican committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley of Iowa to hold an “urgent” hearing on politicization in the Justice Department and “rapidly escalating political threats to law enforcement.”

“In the last few hours the president’s personal attorney has called for the Justice Department, without even an arguably legitimate basis, to prematurely shut down the Special Counsel’s Russia investigation,” Mr. Leahy said in a letter to Mr. Grassley. “And the Attorney General, in a clear violation of his promised recusal under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee, fired a career civil servant days before he could retire, following months of the president’s relentless and outrageous prodding.”

In his four decades in the Senate, Mr. Leahy said, “I have never before seen our nation’s career, apolitical law enforcement officials so personally and publicly maligned by politicians — indeed, by our president.”

“And I have never been so concerned that the walls intended to protect the independence of our dedicated law enforcement professionals, including Special Counsel Mueller, are at risk of crumbling,” he said.

Mr. Leahy noted that he made a similar plea a month ago.

“But there is nothing routine about what is happening to the Justice Department today,” he said. “What we are seeing today is dangerous, and demands our immediate attention. I believe the Judiciary Committee will fail to fulfill its core oversight responsibility if it does nothing in this moment.”

Mr. Trump reiterated Saturday that there was no collusion between his campaign officials and Russia in 2016.

“As the House Intelligence Committee has concluded, there was no collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign. As many are now finding out, however, there was tremendous leaking, lying and corruption at the highest levels of the FBI, Justice & State. #DrainTheSwamp” the president tweeted.

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