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FBI director defends bureau's integrity as GOP lawmakers question him about probes

11 December, 2017, 00:57 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • US President Donald Trump applauds during a rally for Sen. Luther Strange at the Von Braun Civic Center

On Thursday, four days after Trump tweeted that the FBI's reputation was "in tatters", Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, told FBI Director Christopher A. Wray: "We can not afford for the FBI - which has traditionally been dubbed the premier law enforcement agency in the world - to become tainted by politicization or the perception of a lack of even-handedness". Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said he was concerned by reports that Peter Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent involved in the Clinton investigation, was removed from Mueller's team last summer following the discovery of text messages seen as potentially anti-Trump.

The revelations about Strzok prompted Trump to tweet this past weekend that the FBI's reputation was in tatters.

Wray, who was nominated as FBI director by Trump, faced Republican criticism over perceived political bias in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election and in the handling a year earlier of an FBI investigation Clinton's use of a private email server that ended without criminal charges.

Trump and Republicans appear to be building such a case to undermine the Mueller probe, which has already unleashed charges against four former Trump aides and increasingly menaces the White House and Trump's family.

The FISC, as it is known, is the court that grants FISA warrants to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and with them permission to conduct secret surveillance of targets in the United States.

But lawmakers pressed the FBI director, saying it was necessary to know the degree of Mr. Strzok's involvement in other matters related to the ongoing investigation into Russian efforts to influence the presidential election past year and possible coordination with members of the Trump campaign.

Asked about Trump's disparaging.




"My experience has been that our reputation is quite good", Wray said, responding to questioning from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

Nadler warned Wray that he was under attack from Republicans, and urged him to publicly rebut criticism from the president.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Mueller investigator Andrew Weissmann, a former partner at the global law firm WilmerHale, attended the Democratic presidential candidate's election party in November 2016.

Wray defended his agency, Newsweek said: "The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China, North Korea and Iran". "The FBI that I see is tens of thousands of fearless men and women who are working as hard as they can to keep people that they will never know safe from harm".

"My hunch is it has something to do with the dossier", he told Wray.

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray is sworn in on Capitol Hill on July 12.

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