WASHINGTON – FBI Director Christopher Wray defended his agency on Thursday amid criticism from President Donald Trump, saying: "There is no institution better than the FBI."
Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee of Democrats and Republicans clashed over the importance of Trump's attacks on the agency. In a storm of tweets last weekend, Trump called the nation's chief police agency a partial institution whose reputation is "in rags – the worst in history!" And he urged Wray to "clean the house."
Democrats are pressuring Wray to respond, while Republicans echo Trump by suggesting that they are concerned about the political bias in the investigation of special lawyer Robert Mueller on possible links of the Trump campaign with Russia during the Presidential elections of 2016.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia, chairman of the committee, seized the revelations that an FBI agent was removed from the Mueller team due to the anti-Trump texts.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that FBI employees allow their own political predilections to contaminate any investigation," Goodlatte said. "Even the appearance of impropriety will devastate the reputation of the FBI"
Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, the top Democrat on the House panel of the House of Representatives, predicted that Trump's attacks will only increase as Mueller continues to investigate. "His responsibility is not just to defend the office, but to reject the president when he is clearly wrong, both in the facts and as a matter of principle," Nadler told Wray.
Wray's mandate as the new head of the FBI would be difficult enough even without the intense scrutiny of Russia's investigation. Since he was sworn in on August 2, the US UU They have suffered two of the deadliest shootings in their modern history and an attack seen as terrorism in Manhattan.
Trump's weekend tweets created a new dilemma for Wray. With his bosses, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Sessions deputy Rod Rosenstein keeping quietly in public, it was Wray's turn to defend the agency. But FBI directors have traditionally been discreet and stoic, with Wray's predecessor, James Comey, a notable exception.
And the dismissal of Trump from Comey while leading the Russian investigation shows what can happen to a director who feigns enmity with the president. 19659006] Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material can not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.