Federal Bureau of Investigation

Updated at 6:34 p.m. ET

Republican attacks on federal law enforcement have helped the Russian effort to spark chaos within the United States, an embattled top FBI counterintelligence agent told Congress on Thursday.

"Russian interference in our elections constitutes a grave attack on our democracy," Peter Strzok told lawmakers in his prepared opening statement.

Updated at 4:27 p.m.

A senior FBI investigator whose personal opposition to Donald Trump has become a huge public embarrassment for the Justice Department made a marathon visit to Congress on Wednesday.

Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok talked for several hours behind closed doors with the House Judiciary Committee. The committee issued a subpoena to compel him to appear even though Strzok had said he would speak voluntarily.

A senior FBI official who has come under fire for sending politically charged text messages while working on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia probe has been escorted out of the FBI building.

Updated at 12:00 p.m. ET

President Trump, in a freewheeling impromptu news conference in front of the White House on Friday morning, said the Justice Department inspector general's report looking into the FBI's investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server "totally exonerates me."

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Updated at 2:12 p.m. ET

President Trump intensified his attack on federal law enforcement as he sought to strengthen his case that the FBI's investigation into whether his campaign conspired with Russia actually amounted to unlawful political snooping.

"I hope it's not so, but if it is, there's never been anything like it in the history of our country," the president said Wednesday.

Updated at 7:58 p.m. ET

The Justice Department is broadening its internal investigation into the FBI's Russia inquiry after a top-level meeting at the White House on Monday with President Trump.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be asked to look into "any irregularities" with the "tactics concerning the Trump campaign," said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

oag.ok.gov

The six-month investigation into financial mismanagement at the Oklahoma State Department of Health is complete — and no criminal charges will be filed.

A grand jury started probing the agency in November after officials reported a sudden budget shortfall. The resulting financial crisis led to the layoffs of nearly 200 employees and an emergency infusion from lawmakers of $30 million to help the agency stay solvent.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein dismissed threats from antagonists in Congress on Thursday following months of tension between the Justice Department and conservative supporters of President Trump.

Rosenstein appeared at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. to celebrate Law Day and was asked about threats from members of Congress, including the putative "articles of impeachment" about him drafted by allies of Trump.

In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, fired FBI Director James Comey defended his controversial decisions during the 2016 campaign and asserted that the reputation of his agency — which operates under near daily siege from the president and his allies — "would be worse today had we not picked the least bad alternatives."

"I saw this as a 500-year flood, and so where is the manual? What do I do?" he said.

Pages