Bureau staffers fear that the GOP's witch hunt against the agency will compromise sources and "undermine the integrity of the FBI."
Having completely abandoned any semblance of an investigation focused on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, as well as possible collusion with the Trump campaign, House Republicans are now trying to discredit the FBI and federal prosecutors.
In the latest unprecedented development, the FBI has been forced to hand over sensitive documents to congressional investigators regarding bureau cases, presumably in the hopes that Republicans can dig through the files and find information they can use to try to embarrass the agency.
This comes as a hardcore group of Republicans spin wild conspiracy theories about how the FBI somehow plotted to keep Donald Trump out of the White House.
The bureau will now likely hand over more than one million documents, as Republicans do their best to destroy the FBI’s reputation, all in the name of defending Trump, who remains exposed to legal jeopardy.
Consequently, FBI agents fear that the widening GOP witch hunt could expose the identity of informants, as well as make it less likely that potential sources will cooperate with them.
“The Justice Departments decision to give congressional Republicans access to documents about FBI investigations risks exposing sensitive sources or material and poses a critical early test for bureau Director Christopher Wray,” Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.
“Some officials view the department as capitulating to a small group of Republicans who are intent on helping President Donald Trump undermine the integrity of the FBI and, by extension, Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation into whether Trump or any of his associates helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election.”
One FBI agent told Bloomberg that anybody working on Russian counterintelligence probes of any kind might now be hesitant to report their findings to superiors, given how desperate Republicans are to politicize all information.
“Other officials said theyre worried about an effort by Trump and his allies to oust anyone seen as being disloyal to the president,” Bloomberg reports.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Trump actually accused an FBI agent of committing “a treasonous act” because he had texted some anti-Trump messages back in 2016 during the presidential campaign.
The whole smear effort represents an extraordinary attempt by a White House to destroy the reputation of the FBI in order to protect a sitting president.
But Tuesday also brought news that Trump’s former chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been subpoenaed by Mueller’s office, as the Russia probe churns on.
Thus there’s no indication the GOP’s far-flung defensive efforts will actually work to protect Trump or to hide the truth.