While Republicans and the White House tries to dismantle trust in law enforcement, one Republican congressman says enough already.
Asked why so many of his Republican colleagues seem obsessed with trying to discredit the FBI as special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia and obstruction of justice investigation churns on, Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent stressed that "it's important that we not undermine the American public's confidence in the Justice Department and the FBI."
"We Republicans have often sold ourselves as the party of law enforcement, and not just on the state and local level, but the federal level as well," Dent said, urging Republicans to "temper" their rhetoric.
Today, that reputation of supporting federal law enforcement is in tatters as the GOP, likely at the White House's request, wages a daily war against the FBI and the Department of Justice in the hopes of undermining public confidence so that if and when Mueller delivers additional indictments against members of Trump's team, Republicans can cry "foul."
This week, there are not one but two newly hatched smear campaigns being marketed by partisan Republicans on the Hill and on Fox News, as they scramble to try to dismantle trust in law enforcement in advance of possible bad news.
One conspiracy claims the FBI is hiding thousands of text messages that somehow reveal the supposed anti-Trump bias that fuels the Bureau. But even the Republican chairman of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee thinks that one is half-baked.
The second revolves around the harebrained claim that a single 2016 FBI text exchange between two employees reveals a "secret society" within the FBI that meets and plots Trump's political demise.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) appeared on Fox News Tuesday and improved the plot, suggesting Republicans suddenly have a mysterious "informant" who can confirm the wild plot twist.
Asked if he had any clue what Johnson was talking about, Dent said, "I have no idea." He added, "I am not prone to conspiracy theories, I really am not. I wish some of my colleague would temper their rhetoric."
"I have confidence in director Mueller that he is going to run a through and professional investigations," added Dent. "I do have confidence in this and we should not do anything to undermine this investigation."
Today, it seems most of the Republican Party has a much different plan.