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Washington - FBI Director Counters Trump's Attacks On His Agency

Published on: December 7, 2017 02:45 PM
By: AP
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FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a House Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, on Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Washington -  FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday countered strident attacks on his agency by President Donald Trump, saying, “There is no finer institution than the FBI.”

Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee as Democrats and Republicans clashed over the significance of Trump’s attacks on the agency. In a storm of tweets last weekend, Trump called the nation’s top law enforcement agency a biased institution whose reputation is “in Tatters — worst in History!” and urged Wray to “clean house.”

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Democrats pushed Wray to respond forcefully, while Republicans echoed Trump in suggesting they worry about political bias in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia during the 2016 presidential election. Like Trump, they seized on revelations that an FBI agent was removed from Mueller’s team because of anti-Trump texts.

“There is no shortage of opinions out there, but what I can tell you is that the FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe,” Wray said of the agency he has led for just four months. “The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of brave men and women working as hard as they can to keep people they will never know safe from harm.”

Wray conceded that agents do make mistakes and said there are processes in place to hold them accountable.

His defense of the FBI came after the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said he was concerned by reports about Peter Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent involved in the Clinton investigation, being removed from Mueller’s team last summer following the discovery of text messages seen as potentially anti-Trump.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for FBI employees to permit their own political predilections to contaminate any investigation,” Goodlatte said. “Even the appearance of impropriety will devastate the FBI’s reputation.”

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, top Democrat on the House Judiciary panel, predicted Trump’s attacks on the FBI will only grow louder as Mueller continues investigating. “Your responsibility is not only to defend the bureau but to push back against the president when he is so clearly wrong, both on the facts and as a matter of principle,” Nadler told Wray.

Wray’s tenure as the new FBI chief would be difficult enough even without the intense scrutiny of the Russia investigation. Since he was sworn in on Aug. 2, the U.S. has experienced two of the deadliest shootings in its modern history and an attack seen as terrorism in Manhattan.

Trump’s weekend tweets created a fresh dilemma for Wray. With his bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sessions’ deputy, Rod Rosenstein, staying publicly silent, it fell to Wray to defend the agency. But FBI directors traditionally have been low-key and stoic — with Wray’s predecessor, James Comey, a notable exception.

And Trump’s firing of Comey while he led the Russia probe shows what can happen to a director who antagonizes the president.

Wray repeatedly deflected questions about the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, saying the entire matter was under review by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

Republicans repeatedly pressed him on reports that Strzok tweaked the language of the FBI’s finding from “grossly negligent” — the standard laid out in the relevant statute — to “extremely careless,” which was the language that Comey ultimately used in discussing the Clinton case with the public.



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Read Comments (11)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Dec 07, 2017 at 03:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Trump has his own standards on morality and the law, of course the h'll with the constitution

2

 Dec 07, 2017 at 03:22 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

Trump has his own standards on morality and the law, of course the h'll with the constitution

Everything the President has said and done while in office is constitutional. I defy you to cite one thing that is unconstitutional.

3

 Dec 07, 2017 at 04:00 PM yonasonw Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Everything the President has said and done while in office is constitutional. I defy you to cite one thing that is unconstitutional.

There are quite credible and serious arguments that Trump's business deals violate the Emoluments Clause; and there would be substantive constitutional issues, in addition to obstruction of justice concerns, if Trump in fact attempted to thwart the congressional investigations into the Russia related allegations.

Not hard to learn about...just Google the question.

4

 Dec 07, 2017 at 05:17 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
yonasonw Says:

There are quite credible and serious arguments that Trump's business deals violate the Emoluments Clause; and there would be substantive constitutional issues, in addition to obstruction of justice concerns, if Trump in fact attempted to thwart the congressional investigations into the Russia related allegations.

Not hard to learn about...just Google the question.

Keep holding your breath. Libs/dems/snowflakes akikeare stuck with this great president, no matter how much fake news they put out and how many fake accusations they hurl against him! I saw the hearings, and the fbi director actually was quite helpful to Republicans! No matter how many times the dems grilled him about whether Pres. Trump asked him to “pledge loyalty,” or say or do anything unethical, the answer was “no” every time!

5

 Dec 07, 2017 at 05:19 PM Anonymous Says:

Pathetically fake news. Notice what’s they focus on instead of reporting on how damning it was against hilLIARy’s crimes and the cover up! Hopefully she will be locked up yet!

6

 Dec 07, 2017 at 05:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
yonasonw Says:

There are quite credible and serious arguments that Trump's business deals violate the Emoluments Clause; and there would be substantive constitutional issues, in addition to obstruction of justice concerns, if Trump in fact attempted to thwart the congressional investigations into the Russia related allegations.

Not hard to learn about...just Google the question.

" credible and serious arguments ". I doubt it. None have been put forth in a court of law, because those espousing them know they will go down in embarrassing defeat, much like the loonie Congressman who brought up articles of impeachment yesterday and was soundly laughed out of the chamber.

7

 Dec 07, 2017 at 06:57 PM StevenWright Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

" credible and serious arguments ". I doubt it. None have been put forth in a court of law, because those espousing them know they will go down in embarrassing defeat, much like the loonie Congressman who brought up articles of impeachment yesterday and was soundly laughed out of the chamber.

Correct. Credibility is in the eyes of the beholder.
Look who the beholders are.

8

 Dec 07, 2017 at 07:12 PM Phineas Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Everything the President has said and done while in office is constitutional. I defy you to cite one thing that is unconstitutional.

Trump is violating a constitutional provision that a president may not accept any economic benefit from foreign governments or the United States government beyond a salary. He goes to Florida and charges full price for the Secret Service to have rooms and golf carts to follow him.

In carrying out the first immigration order, hundreds of visa holders seeking entrance to the United States were unconstitutionally (as found by the courts) detained without access to attorneys in violation of the 5th and 14th amendments.

Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding from cities that refuse to enforce federal immigration statutes violates the Spending Clause.

9

 Dec 07, 2017 at 07:50 PM Hoshomer Says:

Remember facts don't care about your feelings, especially feelings from a rouge organization like the FBI

10

 Dec 07, 2017 at 08:25 PM Anonymous Says:

To #8-The U.S. Supreme Court approved Trump's travel ban, in spite of liberals such as yourself, who want to admit all of those Muslims, and other undesirables, to our shores.

To YonasonW- There has not been one court in the USA, which ruled against Trump vis-a-vis his business interests, and his being President, pertaining to any conflicts of interest. Also, Trump is under no legal obligation to share copies of his federal tax returns. I hope that he never provides such copies.

11

 Dec 08, 2017 at 01:38 PM hashomer Says:

Reply to #9  
Hoshomer Says:

Remember facts don't care about your feelings, especially feelings from a rouge organization like the FBI

The real hashomer (me) knows the difference between 'rouge' and rogue. The idiot FAKE HOshomer does not. Rouge means red, as the color of his punim when his sheitl goes flying off in a cool breeze.

12

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