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Tag: FBI director

Trump’s FBI Director Threatened to Quit After Sessions Pressured Him to Fire Deputy Direct

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray was preparing to resign after he said he came under relentless pressure from the Trump administration to fire his deputy director, who triggered the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Wray, who took the helm at the FBI after the Senate confirmed him in August, responded that he would resign if his deputy, Andrew McCabe, was forced out, according three sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Axios reported

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was leading the charge to fire McCabe, urging Wray to make a “fresh start” and fire his deputy, who had come under repeated attacks by Trump.

McCabe recently announced he plans to retire by March.

Wray was appointed by Trump after the president fired then-FBI Director James Comey, allegedly for refusing to stop investigating Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security advisor who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in December 2016.

Some legal experts have said Trump committed obstruction of justice when he fired Comey.

Comey Blames Trump for Distracting from Discussions on Race, Law Enforcement

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey began his lecture series on “law enforcement and race” at Howard University on Wednesday evening, describing a growing divide between police and people of color and blaming President Trump for muddying the issue with distractions.

Comey said the U.S. has lost some of its focus on the tension between law enforcement and people of color, partly blaming Trump.

“I have noticed that since the election of our current president, [the issues] have not had the place in American life that I saw in late 2014, throughout ‘15, throughout ‘16,” Comey said, according to Newsweek. “I think the most likely explanation is that issues involving the new administration, including the emergence of appalling voices of white nationalism and racism, have crowded out the topic of law enforcement from American public life.” 

Comey added in his third public speech since being fired: “Although I think it is vital that we confront racism when it comes at us in the form of torch marches or racism or hate crimes, it is critical that we not lose sight of the issue that we began discussing in earnest two and a half years ago.”

Comey encouraged frank discussions between people with different viewpoints.

“My goal is to try to model, especially for students, how to have a conversation about really hard, emotional things,” he said. “It’s only by all of us adopting that attitude, the attitude that, ‘Hey, you could be right and I could be wrong,’ that we have the best chance of learning something in a deep away.” He added, “We are in a dangerous place in this country right now, where we hate too quickly, where disagreement becomes anger too quickly.”

White House: Justice Department Should Consider Charging Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The White House is insisting that the Justice Department should investigate former FBI Director James Comey for alleged crimes in the aftermath of his termination.

“It’s something they should certainly look at,” press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters when asked whether the administration should prosecute Comey, CNN reports

The White House claims Comey leaked privileged information to the media and gave false testimony to Congress by suggesting that Trump pressured the FBI director to drop the investigation of Russia’s election year meddling.

“If there’s ever a moment where we feel that a person has broken the law, particularly if they’re with the FBI, that’s something that should be looked at,” she said.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Subpoena 2 FBI Officials Over Comey’s Firing

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is preparing for a showdown with the Justice Department after it prevented two senior FBI officials from testifying on Capitol Hill about President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

The Senate legal counsel plans to subpoena the senior FBI officials – Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki – to force their testimony about Comey’s firing, CNN reports

The Justice Department last week said it was preventing the FBI officials from appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee because of the DOJ’s “long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., aren’t backing down.

“We’ve got subpoenas at the Senate counsel office,” Grassley told CNN Wednesday, referring to the Senate office that would draft the subpoenas. “When we get done there, I’m gonna have to consult with Sen. Feinstein.”

Christopher Wray Sworn in As Eighth FBI Director in Bureau’s History

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Christopher Wray became the eighth director of the FBI following a swearing-in ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington on Wednesday.

“It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as Director,” Wray said in a statement Wednesday. “I long ago grew to know and admire the FBI from my earliest days as a line prosecutor to my years as assistant attorney general. I am excited, humbled, and grateful, therefore, to have this chance to work side-by-side again with these fine professionals for the good of the country and the cause of justice.”

The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nomination of Wray earlier this week, with five Democrats voting no.

“Chris has the experience and the strength of character that the American people want in an FBI Director,” said Attorney General Sessions, adding that he looked forward to working with Wray every day to keep the country safe.

Bound To Be An Interesting Read: Fired FBI Director Comey to Write Book for Spring Release

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Less than three months after he was fired by President Trump, former FBI Director James Comey has a book deal.

Flatiron Books told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Comey’s book will focus on leadership and decision-making and write about his experience as head of the FBI, from his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation to investigating allegations of collusion between Trump’s administration and Russia. 

Flatiron said Comey will cite “examples from some of the highest-stakes situations in the past two decades of American government” and “share yet-unheard anecdotes from his long and distinguished career.”

The book, which doesn’t yet have a title, is scheduled to be released next spring.

“Throughout his career, James Comey has had to face one difficult decision after another as he has served the leaders of our country,” Flatiron Publisher and President Bob Miller said in a statement. “His book promises to take us inside those extraordinary moments in our history, showing us how these leaders have behaved under pressure. By doing so, Director Comey will give us unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in leadership itself.”

Only 5 Senators Voted Against the Nominee for FBI Director Since 1973

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Since the Senate began voting on nominees for FBI director in 1973, only one senator cast a no vote – until Tuesday.

That’s when five Democrats objected to the confirmation of Christopher Wray to replace fired FBI Dire tor James Comey.

The final vote was 92-5. Voting no were Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden.

The only other nominee for FBI director to receive a no vote was Comey in 2013, when Sen. Rand Paul objected, according to CNN

The bureau’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover, was not subjected to a Senate vote, and he held the position for nearly 48 years.

House Democrats: Give FBI Director Authority to Reject Security Clearance for White House Staff

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI director would have the authority to reject security clearance for White House staff it there is a national security risk under a measure introduced by a group of House Democrats.

More than 20 Democrats have expressed support for the bill, called the Security Clearance Review Act, the Hill reports

The measure is in response to serious questions raised about the security clearance of President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is accused of colluding with Russian officials to interfere with the presidential election.

Donald Trump’s refusal to hold his senior staff accountable for their deceptions on Russia have sadly made this legislation necessary,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who co-sponsored the bill. “Despite all we have learned about his secret meetings with Russians, Jared Kushner apparently continues to hold his clearance.”