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Tag: christopher wray

Wray Has Key Support, but His Job May Depend on Who Wins Presidential Election

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the House Homeland Security Committee.

By Steve Neavling

FBI Director Christopher Wray’s job may hinge on who wins the presidential election, but one thing is certain: He has the support of some key Republicans and the FBI Agents Association. 

Sen. Jerry Moran, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FBI, told The Wall Street Journal that Wray “has professionally led the bureau through its complex missions to reduce violent crime, combat foreign threats and terrorism, preserve the integrity of the financial system, and protect our children from exploitation.”

Moran said he would “continue to support” Wray.

Trump has lambasted Wray, calling him “disappointing” in October for failing to cast doubt on the integrity of the election. Trump also said Wray should have opened an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Jim Biden’s family.

After firing FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, Trump announced the next month on Twitter that he was appointing Wray.

Congress also has shown support for the FBI by increasing its budget since Wray was appointed. 

In letters to Trump and Biden, the FBI Agents Association called on the next president to ensure Wray is able to finish his 10-year term for the “stability, credibility and integrity” of the bureau.

FBI Agents Association Urges Trump, Biden to Allow Wray to Finish 10-year Term

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) is calling on the next president to ensure Christopher Wray is able finish his 10-year term for the stability, credibility, and integrity” of the bureau.  

In letters to President Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the group that represents more than 14,000 active and retired special agents says Wray “operates indepdently from partisan activities.”

“He has not led the Bureau in a political manner, and politics should not determine his fate as Director,” FBIAA President Brian O’Hare writes. “While the President can remove an FBI Director, doing so could lead to instability and damage to the Bureau’s operations, which is why Congress intended to insulate the position of Director from political whims.”

The letters come amid speculation that Trump, in the event that he wins reelection in November, plans to dump Wray. Trump has lashed out at his FBI director for failing to announce an investigation into Biden and his family’s business activities. 

The FBI has a tradition of not intervening in presidential races.

“Unanticipated changes in Bureau leadership are challenging and can undermine stability, making it more difficult to effectively protect our country,” O’Hare writes. “Right now, the FBI is confronting an even more daunting threat environment than in 2011—with threats from both domestic and foreign terrorists, espionage, cyber-attacks, and traditional crimes. This country needs stability in leadership of the Bureau during these challenging times, and creating upheavals at the Bureau after the elections can only undermine the goal of protecting the safety and security of our country.”   

Trump appointed Wray in 2017 after firing then-Director James Comey. 

“Director Wray has led the FBI through a complex period, and is ensuring that FBI Special Agents remain focused on fighting the criminals and terrorists who threaten our safety,” O’Hare writes. “No matter the outcome of next week’s election, the men and women of the FBI are urging whomever becomes our next President to allow Director Wray to lead the Bureau and serve our country.” 

Increasingly Desperate Trump Tells Aides He Wants to Fire Wray for Not Investigating Biden Family

FBI Director Christopher Wray in Atlanta. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

With less than two weeks before the election and trailing in the polls, President Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with FBI Director Christopher Wray for failing to announce an investigation into Joe Biden and his family of corruption. 

Trump has repeatedly discussed canning Wray if reelected, The Washington Post reports, citing senior aides to the president. Trump wants an October surprise similar to the one that then-FBI Director James Comey delivered about Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The president has been pushing a dubious narrative that Biden and his family are corrupt because of widely disputed claims in a New York Post story. Trump has yet to indicate what crimes he believes Biden committed. 

Top Democrats are urging Wray to avoid launching a politically motivated investigation to influence the election. 

In a letter sent to Wray on Thursday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are urging Wray to “to resist pressure from President Trump and other partisan actors to take any actions intended to benefit President Trump politically on the eve of the election. Succumbing to such pressure would deeply undermine our national security interests and the credibility of law enforcement, and could have devastating consequences for the resiliency of our democracy.” 

“We are deeply concerned about the possibility that in response to these reports the Trump Administration will take actions before Election Day that would seek to damage the Democratic presidential candidate and undermine the rule of law,” Wyden and Schumer said.

Russia, Iran Trying to Influence Presidential Election with Voter Information, FBI Warns

FBI Director Christopher Wray, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has warned that Russia and Iran have obtained voter information and are using it to sow division and chaos and undermine confidence in the upcoming election. 

The FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Security Director John Radcliffe said the two countries are trying to influence the presidential election. 

Iran has used the information to target American voters with emails demanding they vote for President Trump, the officials said, adding that there’s no evidence either country managed to alter election results or registration information.

“We are not going to tolerate foreign interference in our elections or any criminal activity that threatens the sanctity of your vote or undermines public confidence in the outcome of the election,” Wray said during a news conference with Ratcliffe, The Washington Post reports. “When we see indications of foreign interference or federal election crimes, we’re going to aggressively investigate and work with our partners to quickly take appropriate action.”

Radcliffe said the voter data “can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”

DOJ Indicts 2 Notoriously Brutal Members of ISIS on Charges of Torturing, Murdering Hostages

FBI Director Christopher Wray announces charges against ISIS members.

By Steve Neavling

Two British members of ISIS are now in FBI custody after the Justice Department charged them Wednesday in the torture and murder of four Americans captured in Syria. 

El Shafee Elsheikh, 32, and Alexanda Kotey, 36, who were part of a notoriously brutal group of hostage-takers known as the Beatles, face up to life in prison, each charged with eight counts, including conspiracy to murder U.S. citizens, hostage taking, hostage taking, and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. 

The charges stem from the deaths of four Americans in Syria: James Foley, Peter Kassig, Kayla Mueller, and Steven Sotlof. They also are accused of kidnapping and torturing more than 20 other hostages, some of whom were beheaded in propaganda videos. 

“The families of the victims have suffered the painful loss of their loved ones at the hands of brutal killers. And while their pain may never fully subside, today, with the announcement of this indictment, we’re beginning to bring them the justice they deserve,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a news conference

Attorney General William Barr said charges stem from years of “hard work in pursuit of justice for our citizens slain by ISIS.

“Our message to other terrorists around the world is this: If you harm Americans, you will face American arms on the battlefield or American law in our courtrooms,” Barr said. “Either way, you will be pursued to the ends of the earth until justice is done.”

Meadows Continues Attack on Wray: ‘We Want to Make Sure He’s Doing His job’

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on “Face the Nation.”

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows doubled down on his criticism of FBI Director Christopher Wray on Sunday and even suggested he could be replaced, ramping up the baseless narrative that mail-in votes are going to lead to widespread fraud.

“As we look at this, we want to make sure he’s doing his job. There are different degrees of confidence in different Cabinet members,” Meadows said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Certainly, he’s still there. The minute that the president loses confidence in any of his Cabinet members — they serve at his pleasure — he will certainly look at replacing them.”

The rebuke of Wray comes after he told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday that there’s no evidence of “any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort.”

Meadows lashed out at Wray on Friday, saying the FBI director “has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone finding out whether there is any kind of voter fraud.”

On Sunday, Meadows said Wray was too quick to dismiss election fraud.

“To suggest that there is a process that is full of integrity is trying to make a verdict before you’ve actually heard the case,” Meadows aid. “That’s my problem with Director Wray. They need to investigate it and make sure that the voting populace, make sure their vote counts and no one else’s does.”

But Wray emphasized to lawmakers last week that the FBI “would investigate seriously” any evidence of election fraud.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson weighed in Sunday.

“It’s disconcerting to see the president and his chief of staff cast doubt on the integrity of our democracy,” Johnson said “Face the Nation.” “In fact, mail-in voting is almost as old as the nation. There are states now where the predominant way to vote is by mail.”

Meadows Slams Wray after Senate Testimony: ‘He has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI’

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Friday lashed out at FBI Director Christopher Wray after he told lawmakers the day before that there was no evidence of large-scale voter fraud.

“With all due respect to Director Wray, he has a hard time finding emails in his own FBI, let alone figuring out whether there is any kind of voter fraud,” Meadows said in an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Friday.

Wray contradicted President Trump’s repeated and baseless assertion that mail-in ballots will lead to widespread fraud.

Meadows referenced a Washington Post story about several hundred North Carolina voters receiving duplicate absentee ballots. The duplicate ballots were the result of a clerical error, and since people can’t vote twice, receiving duplicate ballots cannot lead to fraud.

“Perhaps he needs to get involved on the ground and he would change his testimony on Capitol Hill,” Meadows said of Wray.

Meadows skirted around a question about whether Trump still had confidence in Wray.

On Friday morning, Trump claimed on Twitter that “there is fraud being found all over the place.”

FBI Director Wray Disputes Large-Scale Voter Fraud, Countering Claims by Trump

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray told lawmakers Thursday that the bureau has seen no evidence of large-scale voter fraud, contradicting President Trump’s repeated and baseless claims that mail-in voting may rig the election against him.

Testifying before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Wray also said it would be a “major challenge” for a foreign country to interfere with the election using bogus mail-in ballots.

“We have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise,” Wray said.

If the bureau saw any efforts to undermine the election, Wray said the FBI “would investigate seriously.”

A day before Wray’s testimony, Trump declined to commit to a peaceful transition of power if his contender Joe Biden wins, saying he’s worried about “the ballots.”

On Friday morning, Trump claimed on Twitter that “there is fraud being found all over the place.”

Wray said voter fraud at the local level has occurred “from time to time,” but he disputed large-scale fraud.

“To change a federal election outcome by mounting that kind of fraud at scale would be a major challenge for an adversary,” Wray said