As defenders of President Donald Trump ramp up their attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation, top officials are rushing to defend the top federal law enforcement agency, Business Insider political correspondent Natasha Bertrand reported Sunday.
President Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to attack former FBI Director James Comey and current Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Deputy Director McCabe has announced his retirement in 2018.
Also in GOP crosshairs is James Baker, the former head of the FBI's Office of General Counsel, who was reassigned by FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Senior fellow at the Brookings Institution Benjamin Wittes, who has known Baker for years and is a close friend of Comey, told Business Insider his concerns about the optics of Baker's reassignment.
"The idea that Jim should stay in place indefinitely is not what I would argue," Wittes said. "But, if I were Wray and I meant to replace my general counsel, the antics of the last two weeks would have convinced me not to do it under fire to make sure no one thinks I am giving the administration a scalp."
Andy McCabe & Jim Baker epitomize integrity, competence, and respect for rule of law. Not surprised… https://t.co/DnnnuQHAW7— John O. Brennan (@John O. Brennan) 1514081218.0
“I have known Jim Baker for many years, in and out of government and I know him to be a person, and public servant, of the highest moral character and integrity," former Assistant Attorney General for the DOJ's National Security Division told Business Insider.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have been ramping up attacks on special counsel Robert Mueller in recent weeks, escalating tensions between Congress and the FBI.
Meanwhile, Democrats have been defending the FBI and special counsel investigation.
“We have decided we will not stand by and allow Fox News and right-wing Republicans to defy the rule of law and create their own rules to interfere with a legitimate investigation under the Constitution of the United States,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said during a #ProtectMueller press conference. “We will be vigorously working to deny the brazen attempts to destroy special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation."
Some defenders of the Trump administration are even stoking anti-Trump conspiracy theories.
Alex Jones said he predicts the FBI will make an "assassination attempt" on Trump's life in the coming weeks.
Donald Trump, Jr peddled conspiracy theories about the FBI last week. The former head of the CIA, retired Gen. Michael Hayden said Trump Jr's comments were "scary" and "an appeal to the heart of autocracy."
Fox News has joined Alex Jones in floating FBI assassination conspiracy theories.
New from me: Former FBI officials and national security vets have come out swinging in defense of Jim Baker and And… https://t.co/ouPULZzoHA— Natasha Bertrand (@Natasha Bertrand) 1514138641.0