FBI Director Defends Agency Against Trump Twitter Attack


At a Judiciary Committee hearing, Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas named FBI officials and asked the bureau's director, Christopher Wray, whether they've ever openly discussed a bias against the Trump administration.

"What I can tell you is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe", Wray told lawmakers during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, adding that they are "decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism and respect".

It is not clear whether FBI investigators had conclusively determined Flynn was lying to them at the time McGahn approached Trump.

"It does appear to me that, at the very least, the FBI's reputation as an impartial, nonpolitical agency has come into question, " said the panel's chairman, Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican.

CHRISTOPHER WRAY: The FBI that I see is people - decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and professionalism and respect.

JORDAN: Here's what I think, irector Wray.

LUCAS: Wray deflected that question, saying the Justice Department's inspector general is already looking into those matters.

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Trump's argument gained steam amid news that an agent on the special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 election sent text messages past year that could be perceived as anti-Trump. "You bet we make mistakes", he said, adding that there are processes in place to hold people accountable. "The president's views on FBI investigations are not hard to predict: When they're of his opponents, he applauds them". "Peter Strzok is selected to be on Mueller's team - after all this history, put on Mueller's team - and then he's removed for some pro-Clinton text messages". Page had also worked on Mueller's team, but she left that post two weeks before Strzok's departure for what officials have said were unrelated reasons.

Asked by the panel's senior Democrat, Representative Jerrold Nadler of NY, whether that was true, Wray delivered a lengthy defense of the bureau.

"We understand that we will take criticism from all corners and we are accustomed to that", Wray said.

Wray offered assurances, as well, that he would coordinate with the inspector general to see if he could provide Strzok's text messages to the committee, which it had asked for earlier in the week, without compromising the investigation.

Jordan said he believes the warrant was obtained based exclusively on a salacious anti-Trump dossier that was partly funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Wray deflected questions from Democratic members of the committee about whether a sitting president can commit obstruction of justice, but answered when Swalwell asked if the president is above the law.