Republicans Press FBI Director on Whether Agents Are Politically Biased

Republicans Press FBI Director on Whether Agents Are Politically Biased

Countering strident attacks on his agency from the president who appointed him, FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday defended the tens of thousands of people who work with him and declared, "There is no finer institution, and no finer people, than the men and women who work there and are its very beating heart".

The president seized on the officer's dismissal, and in a tirade on Twitter he said the FBI's "reputation is in Tatters - worst in history!"

The hearing, like many others this year, was starkly divided along party lines.

Mr Wray gave evidence before the House Judiciary Committee as Democrats and Republicans clashed over the significance of Mr Trump's attacks on the agency.

And both the Times and the Post noted in their reports that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe has faced criticism from Trump and other Republicans for his role in the Clinton email investigation and his wife's political ties to a key Clinton ally in Virginia.

The former counterintelligence agent also interviewed Michael Flynn in January about the Russia investigation.

GOP elders were already fretting that Trump was ruining the GOP brand following the alt-right riots in Charlottesville. "Even the appearance of impropriety will devastate the FBI's reputation".

Gowdy cited the secret meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch days before the Comey speech exonerating Hillary Clinton, and outlined what he considers other challenges to the credibility of the federal government's law enforcement. A pair of Democratic members - Reps. "The first thing I'm doing is respecting the outside independent investigations that are underway".

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"There's little you can do, because if you allow this tool to be used for good, there will always be some people who would misuse it", Telegram founder Pavel Durov lamented to CBS News of the terrorist group's use of the app. He should focus on whether bias in Clinton's favor was a factor in the probe being dropped.

The White House on Thursday tried to soften Trump's message, denying any discrepancy between his comments and those of the FBI director.

"There is no shortage of opinions out there", Wray said of the agency that he has led for four months.

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

Also, he said, FBI agent Peter Strzok, who ran the Clinton investigation, wrote the FBI's exoneration letter about Clinton, and changed its language from "gross negligence to extreme carelessness".

RYAN LUCAS, BYLINE: Christopher Wray is a serious understated guy with a reputation for not wanting to make headlines. "There isn't a person on this planet that can get me to drop a properly predicated investigation or start an investigation that's not properly predicated", Wray told Rep. Eric Swalwell, D. "We will ensure that anyone who works on any investigation in the Department of Justice does so objectively and free from bias or favoritism".

"[The report] sends a chill to activists around the country", Bass said.