- The Washington Times - Monday, March 19, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Have you seen this man?  He is, allegedly, the Director of the FBI. His name is Christopher Wray and was named to his position after the firing of his predecessor, James Comey. 

Lately, his agency has been in the news quite a bit. 

Last month, as the nation was enveloped in an emotional and volatile debate over the 2nd amendment after the mass shooting in Broward County Florida, it was revealed that the FBI had received and completely ignored a detailed, credible tip regarding Nikolas Cruz, the man charged with the murders just weeks before the deadly shooting.  

At a moment of intense public discourse over the horrific mass murder Wray chose to reveal his department’s failure in a written announcement and has made no other public statement on the matter nor has he answered any questions from reporters for details about his agency’s error that led to the murder of seventeen innocent Americans. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a thorough investigation into the breakdown at the FBI over this matter. Meanwhile, where was Christopher Wray?



After that revelation, Florida Governor Rick Scott called for Wray’s resignation. That’s kind of a big deal. A sitting governor of a large, influential state called for the resignation of the FBI Director over his office’s incompetence over a horrific murder in his state. This sort of thing deserves an explanation and response from FBI Director Wray

Wray did not respond. Where was Christopher Wray?

Just weeks after that debacle, Wray’s Deputy Director, Andrew McCabe, abruptly resigned under intense public scrutiny over the DOJ Inspector General’s investigation into the Hillary Clinton email investigation of 2016. Wray said nothing publicly about the politically-charged resignation. Instead, he once again issued an e-mail to all FBI employees:

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment on specific aspects of the IG’s review right now,” Wray said in the message. “But I can assure you that I remain staunchly committed to doing this job, in every respect, ‘by the book.’ I will not be swayed by political or other pressure in my decision making.”

In the next paragraph, Wray explained that McCabe had submitted his intention to retire, suggesting a connection between the findings of the IG report and McCabe’s decision.

The email was not made available to the public and made no explicit explanation for McCabe’s sudden retirement, just an oblique reference. Again, no public announcement from Wray and no direct engagement with journalists over a matter of intense public interest. 

Where was Christopher Wray?

And just this past Friday, McCabe was dismissed from his position just one day before his retirement was to officially begin. Was he fired by his direct superior, Director Wray? No, he was fired by Sessions. Where was Christopher Wray?

In the days since McCabe’s dismissal there has been intense debate over the move. Was it a churlish, vindictive move ordered by an out-of-control President? Was the firing justified and necessary given reports that McCabe not only participated in improper leaks to journalists regarding the Clinton email investigation but allegedly lied to investigators about the matter. 

And why did Wray not fire McCabe directly? Why was it Sessions? Did Wray refuse to fire McCabe? It was reported (via anonymous leaks) before McCabe’s retirement announcement that Wray threatened to quit if McCabe was fired. So what does Wray say about this weekend’s dismissal? 

Director Wray could shed some light on this, but where is he? Where is Christopher Wray?

The job of FBI Director is not just to oversee a large and incredibly powerful agency of the federal government. It is to communicate to the American people about critically important matters involving law enforcement at the federal level. It requires a certain level of public transparency and accountability. 

At a time when the FBI and the Department of Justice suffer from a growing perception that politics and cronyism rather than law and order have been the driving motivations behind certain investigations, the American people deserve an FBI Director who can properly explain what is happening in his agency.

We deserve an FBI Director who can face the press and answer the tough questions that involve his agency’s conduct and very public personnel decisions. 

We deserve an FBI Director who will take responsibility for his agents and their actions with regard to issues of intense public interest like the Parkland shooting, the Clinton email investigation and the Trump/Russia inquiry. 

We deserve an FBI Director. Where is he? Where is Christopher Wray

 

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