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Schumer announces resolution to support funding for DOJ, FBI

Letter from the Senate majority leader responds to former President Donald Trump's recent social media post

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., makes his way to an all-senators briefing last month.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., makes his way to an all-senators briefing last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced plans to offer a resolution next week that condemns a call from former President Donald Trump to defund the Justice Department and the FBI.

The former president, who was indicted on 34 state charges of falsifying business records and is under investigation by the Justice Department and state prosecutors in Georgia, posted on social media that Congress should “DEFUND THE DOJ AND FBI UNTIL THEY COME TO THEIR SENSES.”

Schumer, in a letter to senators Tuesday, said his resolution would condemn that idea and reject Trump’s attempts “to degrade public trust in Federal law enforcement agencies for attempted political or legal benefit.”

“The former President and his allies in Congress must not subjugate justice and public safety because of their own personal grievances,” Schumer said in the letter.

Some Republicans have rushed to defend Trump following the indictment, with some floating the idea of using the appropriations process to respond to the charges brought by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

The House Judiciary Committee scheduled a field hearing Monday in New York about “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan,” as Republicans continue to criticize prosecutors for what they call a politically motivated probe into Trump.

The chairman of that committee, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, said in a recent Fox News interview that Congress might look to limit funding to federal agencies “who are engaging in the most egregious behavior.”

A Fox News host asked if that included the Justice Department and FBI, and Jordan said it did.

Schumer, in the letter, wrote that Trump’s “call for defunding federal law enforcement agencies is a baseless, self-serving broadside against the men and women who keep our nation safe.”

The New York senator added that the Justice Department and the FBI send “criminals to prison for bank robbery, sex trafficking, child pornography, hate crimes, terrorism, fraud, and so much more.”

Trump also faces two federal criminal probes led by special counsel Jack Smith. One focuses on efforts to interfere with the transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election, and the other focuses on the handling of materials marked as classified that were found at Trump’s property.

Trump’s rhetoric on DOJ funding falls in the backdrop of a push from hardline House Republicans to look for cuts in the fiscal 2024 appropriations process.

At a subcommittee hearing last month, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland warned lawmakers that deep cuts to the Justice Department budget would be “devastating” to the agency’s efforts to fight violent crime and combat drug traffickers.

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