Skip to content

House Republican frustration with FBI Director Wray reaching boiling point

by Sarah Bedford

He’s a relatively rare sight on cable news and Capitol Hill.

Without the sensation surrounding the dismissal of his predecessor in 2017, he’d hardly be a household name. He almost never addresses reporters, comments on headlines, or uses social media.

But FBI Director Christopher Wray has managed to raise the ire of Republicans to a boiling point — in large part by staying silent.

A series of embarrassing revelations about the FBI over the past week has laid bare frustrations with Wray that have simmered in the House GOP conference for months.

Handed the majority in January, House Republicans on multiple committees began investigating what they saw as abuses of power by the FBI.

Wray’s agency has declined cooperation at nearly every step.

The latest standoff came on Monday when House Oversight Committee staff returned empty-handed from a meeting with the FBI over an internal document alleging a criminal scheme between then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national.

“At today’s staff briefing with FBI officials, the FBI again did not produce the unclassified record subpoenaed by Chairman [James] Comer,” a committee spokesperson told the Washington Examiner. “The Oversight Committee will announce next steps soon.”

Comer had pressed the FBI for the document repeatedly, including in a letter Friday that called the bureau’s refusal to produce it “unacceptable.”

The document, according to House Republicans, contains details about payments Biden allegedly accepted from a foreign national seeking to influence American policy.

It’s far from the only piece of evidence sought by GOP lawmakers.

House Republicans have pressed for more information about the FBI’s focus on parents protesting at school board meetings, its aggressive pursuit of anti-abortion activists relative to its treatment of pro-abortion rights activists, a memo from one of its field offices related to suggested surveillance of traditional Catholic parishes, and more.

Much of what GOP lawmakers have learned to date, however, has come from the testimony of whistleblowers and not from the bureau’s leadership.

Republicans last week accused top FBI officials of trying to shut off even that limited pipeline of information by retaliating against whistleblowers who had spoken to Congress.

Some whistleblowers, the House Judiciary Committee said in a report, were stripped of their security clearances or suspended from their posts after disclosing concerns about FBI politicization to Congress.

“We know that FBI whistleblowers are being retaliated against by the FBI — not because they’re lying but because they’re telling the truth,” Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) told the Washington Examiner. “Looks like the bureau has some explaining to do.”

Wray is set to testify in mid-July before the House Judiciary Committee, where he will face hard questions about why the bureau under his leadership has found itself embroiled in so many controversies, all of them involving at least the perception of unfair treatment toward conservatives only.

Continue Story Here