WASHINGTON, D.C. – What should’ve been a standard congressional hearing on the FBI’s oversight turned into a standoff between the FBI director and congressional republicans. Members criticized the director of weaponizing the agency.
A House Judiciary hearing questioning FBI director Christopher Wray turned tense last week. Democrats accused republicans of turning what should be a bipartisan effort to get answers on the agency’s work to trying to discredit the FBI’s role in federal law enforcement. Some democrats focused their line of questioning on former president Donald Trump, especially in his role in the January 6, 2021 US Capitol attack. But Wray kept quiet for the most part.
“Let me start with I’m not in the business of commenting on the truth or falsity of newspaper articles and I this particular (inaudible) I think you can appreciate there is an ongoing, very important ongoing special council investigation that is now in court,” responded Wray when asked if the FBI began investigating Trump following the January 6 US Capitol attack.
Republicans claim the American people have lost faith in the FBI.
“The American people we represent are losing count of the scandals that are mounting,” said Rep. Mike Johnson (R- LA). “The FBI has been involved facing evidence that its being used as a political tool by the Biden administration.”
They claim the bureau is using counter terrorism methods against school parents. They’re also scrutinizing the FBI for carrying out a search warrant for former President Donald Trump’s Florida home and targeting conservative states for their election integrity laws. Wray flatly denied the burear was being weaponized.
“Are you protecting the Bidens,” asked Rep. Matt Gaetz (R- FL).
“Absolutely not,” answered Wray.
And oftentimes, Wray would get interrupted.
“Can you define on what disinformation is,” asked Rep. Gaetz.
“What I can tell you is our focus is not on disinformation speak but on malign,” said Wray.
“Wait a minute,” interjected Rep. Gaetz.
“Can I answer the question,” asked Wray.
For the roughly five hour hearing… Tensions remained high… And little new information was produced by the line of questioning.