AT HOUSE JUDICIARY FBI OVERSIGHT HEARING, WRAY DEFENDS THE FBI AGAINST TRUMP ATTACKS, DOESN’T PLEDGE LOYALTY TO TRUMP

Dec 7, 2017 Issues: Trump, Civil Liberties

WASHINGTON, D.C. --Today, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time during its annual oversight hearing.

Ahead of the hearing, on December 3rd, President Donald Trump tweeted, “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters – worst in History! But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.” 

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During the hearing, acting Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler noted that veterans of the FBI and the Department of Justice have pushed back against this attack—but that he had not heard from Wray. Several Democratic Members of the Committee questioned Wray about his response to this attack as well as many other attacks on the FBI by President Trump. FBI Director Wray repeatedly defended the FBI.

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In his opening statement, acting Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) challenged Wray to stand up to President Donald Trump’s continuous attacks on the FBI:

Indeed, I predict that these attacks on the FBI will grow louder and more brazen as the special counsel does his work, and the walls close in around the President, and evidence of his obstruction and other misdeeds becomes more apparent.

In this moment, Director Wray, 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. 

When he says, “the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States,” it is your job to tell him that the Director of the FBI has reported to the Attorney General since the founding of the Bureau, and that Presidents should not comment on pending cases.

When he claims that you should focus on “Crooked Hillary” instead of his closest associates—or when my colleagues argue for a new special counsel to do the same—it is your responsibility to remind us that, absent sufficient evidence of a crime, there is no investigation to which a second special counsel can be assigned.

And when he tells you that you need to “clean house,” that your agents are “phony and dishonest,” and that your “reputation is in tatters” and the “worst in history,” you must do more than send a private email to your employees.  You must stand up to the President of the United States.

Read Nadler’s full statement here.

When asked about his loyalty to Trump, Wray responded, “My loyalty is to the Constitution, to the laws of this country, and to the good men and people of America.”

Watch part 1 of the hearing here.

Watch part 2 of the hearing here.

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