Federal Bureau of Investigation director defends agency against Donald Trump's attacks

08 December, 2017, 10:23 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Donald Trump

CNN's Jake Tapper on Thursday took on Donald Trump's attack on the FBI after director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judicial Committee, fielding pointed questions from Republicans about the independence of the Bureau.

Mr Wray gave evidence before the House Judiciary Committee as Democrats and Republicans clashed over the significance of Mr Trump's attacks on the agency.

"Its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History", Trump wrote on Twitter of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, at the end of series of posts about a senior agent who allegedly supported Trump's Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. A few months later, as Comey looked into possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign to swing the US presidential election, the president fired Comey.

Republican lawmakers intensely focused on revelations that came to light last week about Peter Strzok, a high-ranking FBI agent who worked on both the Hillary Clinton email probe under former FBI Director James Comey and the Department of Justice Russia investigation, whose anti-Trump text messages led him to be removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team over the summer. But he conceded that agents do make mistakes, adding that there are processes in place to hold them accountable.

"It is absolutely unacceptable for FBI employees to permit their own political predilections to contaminate any investigation", Mr Goodlatte said.

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Wray also faced questions about potential legal trouble for Trump personally arising from Mueller's investigation. The firing of James Comey exacerbated the situation, and made Wray's tenure even more challenging.

Wray was sworn in early August.

Wray's remarks in the House hearing were his first public response to Trump's tweet. His bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein, remained publicly silent, leaving Wray to defend the agency.

Trump seized on the reports about Strzok in his weekend anti-FBI, anti-Comey tweetstorm. As CNN reported, Strzok changed Comey's key description of Clinton's actions from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless".

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