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Tag: christopher wray

Two of Law Enforcement’s Big Dogs Will Testify Thursday on the Hill

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testifying before a House committee in December 2017.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Who knew C-Span could be so interesting?

Two big names in federal law enforcement, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, both Trump appointees, are scheduled to testify Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee about a recent Justice Department inspector general report that White House allies claim proves bias among FBI investigators in the Russia probe, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Meanwhile, the LA Times reports that House Republicans are pushing for a resolution that would set a July 6 deadline for the Justice Department to turn over confidential records on the FBI’s use of secret surveillance during the campaign.

 

FBI Director Wray Says Bureau Should Learn Lessons from IG Report

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI, Director Christopher Wray addressed a gathering of former and current federal agents near Los Angeles International Airport on Monday, saying the bureau must learn lessons from the critical Inspector General report, ABC News reports.

“We’re going to make sure that even though the report didn’t find bias actually impacted the investigation, that’s not good enough for me,” Wray said. “I want to make sure everybody understands the lessons of the report. We are doing in-depth training on the findings.”

Wray then laid out his plan for moving the FBI forward.

“So these are challenging times for the organization,” he said. “We’re having our turn in the barrel.”

FBI’s Christopher Way Defends Mueller While GOP Says Probe Is Tainted

FBI Director Christopher Wray (file photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

So many politicians, so many opinions.

FBI Director Christopher Wray stood by Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a hearing Monday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Republicans asserted the Russian election probe is tainted by anti-Trump bias, Bloomberg New reports.

“I do not believe Special Counsel Mueller is on a witch hunt,” Wray testified.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary Committee’s Republican chairman, said the Inspector General report shows Democrat Hillary Clinton got “kid-glove” treatment from the FBI and Justice Department while they continue to use “brass-knuckle” tactics against Trump, Bloomberg reports.
Meanwhile, Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified that he’s still probing the FBI conduct to see how former Director James Comey handled his private memos and whether underlings may have given sensitive details to reporters.

FBI Director Christopher Wray Writes: ‘IG’s Report Makes Clear That We Have Some Work To Do’

Christopher Wray has been the director of the FBI since August 2017.

Christopher Wray (File photo)

By Christopher Wray
For USA Today

There has been no shortage of commentary and debate about the FBI lately, and the new report from the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General is a welcome contribution from an independent voice on events of the 2016 election season. The Bureau is entrusted with a lot of authority to carry out our mission, and with that power comes close scrutiny. That’s as it should be. Fair and independent oversight makes the FBI a stronger organization — and that, in turn, makes our country safer.

While the Inspector General didn’t find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration impacting the investigation under review, all of us at the FBI take this report seriously, and we accept its findings and recommendations. We’ve already taken steps to address many of the concerns it raises. We’ll change what we need to change and improve what can be made better and stronger, and we’ll move forward with renewed focus and determination. Because that is the essence of the FBI — we learn from the past, we get better at what we need to do, and we continually strive to be the very best we can be.

The IG’s report makes clear that we have some work to do, but I also want our fellow citizens to realize something important about the scope of this report. It’s focused on a specific set of events in 2016, and on a narrow set of employees connected to those events. Nothing in the IG’s report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole, or the FBI as an institution.

Read full column

Trump Wanted to Know Why Two FBI Officials Still Had Their Jobs

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaking at a previous congressional committee hearing.

President Trump pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray to explain why two FBI officials still have their jobs after it was revealed they made disparaging remarks about him in text messages to each other.

During the same meeting at the White House on Jan. 22, Trump urged his attorney general and FBI director to dig up dirt on the senior officials, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, to discredit them as part of a broader campaign to delegitimize Robert Mueller’s investigation, which has cast a dark shadow over the White House, Vox reports. 

In a private meeting with Sessions the next day, the president was more blunt: Fire Strzok and Page, who were removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation months before the text messages were disclosed. The texts also poked fun at Hillary Clinton.

Some legal scholars cautioned that Trump is treading on dangerous territory because he’s already under investigation for obstruction of justice for firing then-FBI Director James Comey in May promoted.

Last summer, Trump’s attorney advised him that Page was likely to be a witness against him in the special counsel probe.

Democrats and some Republicans fear Trump is trying to justify firing Mueller by discrediting those involved in the 11-month-old investigation, which so far has netted indictments against more than 20 people and entities.

 

FBI Director Wray Pledges to Run Bureau ‘By the Book’ After Latest Trump Administration Firing

Christopher Wray testifies during his confirmation hearing to become the next FBI director.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray, whose bureau has come under relentless attacks by President Trump, pledged to his staff that he’s committed to leading the agency “objectively and independently, and by the book.”

Wray’s email to staff, first reported by CNN, follows the controversial firing of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a frequent Trump target accused of a “lack of candor” during a Justice Department inquiry.  

“And while I still cannot comment on specifics of that, or any, personnel matter, I wanted the public to know — and I want you to know — that I remain committed to doing things objectively and independently, and by the book,” Wray wrote to his roughly 35,000 employees.

“That commitment applies not just to our investigations and our intelligence analysis, but to personnel and disciplinary decisions as well,” he continued.

Wray insisted earlier this week that McCabe’s firing was not influenced by politics.

The FBI has been subjected to a brutal campaign by the president to discredit the bureau, which is overseeing the special counsel investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice and whether his campaign colluded with Russia to tip the scale on the election.

To help restore the bureau’s battered image, McCabe said he has “started to engage with the media” in an effort to “reintroduce  the American public to who and what we are.”

Other Stories of Interest

Lawmakers: FBI Lacks Strategy to Handle Tips After Blunder over Fla. School Shooter

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Acting FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich acknowledged to members of Congress on Tuesday that the bureau failed to properly follow up on two warning calls about the former student who gunned down 17 students and teachers at a Florida school on Valentine’s Day.

Lawmakers left the private briefing feeling frustrated and disappointed, saying the bureau’s response offered little to no new information, and the FBI still has no strategy or plan to correct future mistakes.

Nikolas Cruz via instagram

The meeting “raised more questions than it answered,” U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., tweeted after the closed-door briefing in Washington. “We should have more answers 20 days after the shooting. This was clearly a major failure and Americans deserve swift accountability and reform.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., said the lack 0f new information makes it difficult for lawmakers to understand what went wrong and how the bureau could avoid similar blunders.

“A very specific lead was given to the FBI, and they just botched it,” Krishnamoorthi said upon leaving the meeting, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. “Right now we have to find out why that happened. Most important for me is: How do we prevent this from happening again, and how do we actively figure out who is on the verge of committing a similar school shooting or any other act of terror like this?”

The first tip came in September from a Mississippi man, who alerted the FBI to a YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” – the same name as the school shooter. The tipster boasted, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In early January, a caller who said he was close to Cruz warned that “He’s going to explode” and appeared on the verge of violence.

The FBI never forwarded the information to the FBI’s Miami field office, so the tip was never investigated.

Some Republicans are calling for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray, while some Democrats say such a move would be premature.

John Brosnan Named Special Agent in Charge of N.Y. Field Offices’ Criminal Division

Special Agent John Brosnan appointed to lead the Criminal Division for the New York Field Office.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

John Brosnan, who most recently served as the section chief of the Violent Crimes Against Children Section of the Criminal Investigative Division, has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the New York Field Office.

That’s where Brosnan began his career as a special agent in 1995, investigating  white-collar crime. He’ll return to the office in March. 

During his 22-year career with the bureau, Brosnan has held leadership positions in the Philadelphia Division and the Counterterrorism Division

Brosnan, who is a certified public accountant and certified fraud examiner, was appointed by FBI Director Christopher Wray.

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