- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2020

An advocacy group representing current and former FBI agents on Thursday called for FBI Director Christopher A. Wray to finish his 10-year term regardless of who wins the election.

The FBI Agents Association sent letters to President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden asking that they keep Mr. Wray at the helm of the FBI because he “operates independently from partisan activities.”

“Directory Wray is an asset to the bureau and a trusted leader of Agents in the field,” FBIAA President Brian O’Hare wrote in the letters to both candidates. “Our country is safer because of him.”

Mr. Wray, who was appointed by Mr. Trump, has led the bureau since August 2017. Yet his future remains uncertain as the president and allies in the Republican Party have ramped up criticism of the FBI director.

When asked to give Mr. Wray a public vote of confidence earlier this month, the president declined. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweeted that Mr. Wray is working to “protect corrupt Democrats.”

Mr. Trump and supporters are angry over the director’s public statements contradicting the president on issues such as Antifa, voting fraud and Russian election interference.

Republicans have also been frustrated by what they perceive as stonewalling by the bureau regarding a laptop purportedly belonging to Mr. Biden’s son, Hunter.

As the GOP pushes the FBI to weigh in on the authenticity of emails on the laptop that raise questions about the younger Biden’s business dealings, the bureau has stayed out of the fray.

In a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, last week, the FBI said it didn’t dispute the national intelligence director’s conclusion that the emails were not Russian disinformation, but the bureau refused to make a statement about their authenticity.

The president said earlier this month that Mr. Wray is “not doing a very good job.”

But as the FBIAA sees it, Mr. Wray’s actions have kept the bureau above partisan political clashes.

“Director Wray operates independently from partisan activities and his nomination and acceptance of the position were predicated on that fact,” Mr. O’Hare wrote in the letters. “He has not led the bureau in a political manner and doing so could lead to instability and damage to the bureau’s operations, which is why Congress intended to insulate the position of director from political whims.”

Mr. O’Hare wrote that removing the FBI director soon after a tense presidential election could lead to instability and hamper FBI operations.

“The country needs stability in leadership of the bureau during these challenging times and creating upheavals at the bureau after the elections can only undermine the goal of protecting the safety and security of our country,” he wrote.

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