Published: Mon, December 11, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

FBI Director Chris Wray Briefs Congress And Defends His Institution

FBI Director Chris Wray Briefs Congress And Defends His Institution

During a House Judiciary Committee hearing on December 7, FBI Director Chris Wray was grilled by Rep. Jim Jordan on a former FBI agent's role in a FISA application that Jordan said "became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans".

The latest revelations come after a report last weekend found that another "Russiagate" investigator, Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller's team over anti-Trump texts he exchanged with a former investigator, Lisa Page.

That description is a far cry from how the president described the agency on Sunday, when he said "its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History!" in a tweet.

Wray's statement appears to be the first on-the-record confirmation that the FBI has applied for FISA warrants in its investigation into Russian election interference and the question of whether the Trump campaign colluded with that effort.

Wray spent the morning being grilled at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee about how FBI personnel - particularly a senior counterintelligence agent now the subject of an internal ethics investigation - handled sensitive probes of Trump and his former political rival, Hillary Clinton.

Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, asked, "How much more evidence do we need" that the Mueller team "has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans" after his group published Weissmann's email. "There has to be more", he said. But he also conceded that agents do make mistakes and said there are processes in place to hold them accountable.

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At the time of Strzok's departure, Archey was acting head of the FBI's field office in Birmingham, Alabama, ABC News said.

The special counsel's probe has been criticized by Trump's allies, but the White House maintains Trump has no intention to fire Mueller. Noting that a single agent might not be able to sway a major investigation, Hunt said the text messages still give an appearance of impropriety.

Mr. Wray said he was limited in what he could say about Mr. Strzok because of the investigation, but he told lawmakers he would "take appropriate action if necessary" after the internal watchdog completes its review.

Wray, however, repeatedly deflected questions about whether Trump's decision would put him in legal jeopardy.

"I predict that these attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation will grow louder and more brazen as the special counsel does his work, and the walls close in around the president, and evidence of his obstruction and other misdeeds becomes more apparent", Rep. Jerrold Nadler of NY, recently promoted to ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said during Thursday's hearing.

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