During a contentious back-and-forth at a House Judiciary Committee hearing, Wray told Gaetz, “Respectfully, congressman, the number of people applying to come work for us and devote their lives working for us is up over 100% since I started.
Gaetz became agitated with Wray as a result of his aggressive questions regarding Hunter Biden and the FBI’s investigation from January 6.
When J. Edgar Hoover oversaw the FBI, more people trusted it than they do now. And the reason is that you don’t give honest responses,” Gaetz said. “You give responses that a court later determines are untrue. At the end of the day, it appears as though you are defending the actions of corrupt people because you won’t call out a blatant shakedown that is happening right in front of us.
Gaetz makes a reference to Hoover, whose name is on the FBI’s main building, and who oversaw the organization for nearly 50 years. The FBI’s illegal investigations of politicians, surveillance of political organizations and civil rights activists, and other wrongdoing, as The Atlantic once detailed, have damaged Hoover’s reputation. In one of the most well-known instances, the bureau attempted to destroy Martin Luther King Jr. by mailing the civil rights leader tapes documenting some of his extramarital affairs along with an anonymous note urging him to commit suicide.
The moment Wray brought up the recruitment statistics, the Florida Republican retaliated.
Gaetz remarked, “They deserve better than you, and we’re incredibly proud of them.
While nearly all Americans support the FBI, there is a significant divide between Democrats and Republicans, according to polling. The split coincides with years of attacks on the bureau by conservatives.
Republican lawmakers peppered Wray with inquiries over and over again regarding the FBI’s handling of its investigation into the events of January 6, Hunter Biden’s laptop, and other decisions made during the Biden administration. A special select committee of lawmakers looking into the “weaponization of the federal government” has the bureau at its center.
A Democratic lawmaker once noted that former President Donald Trump had appointed Wray to the position of director after firing Director James Comey. Then, Wray remembered truthfully that only five senators opposed his confirmation. (All of them were Democrats.)
Gaetz’s aggressive line of questioning started with a reference to an alleged “shakedown” by Hunter Biden, which was a text message the then-former Vice President allegedly sent to a Chinese business partner in 2017. (Biden later refuted claims that he was there.) Gaetz pressed Wray to clarify the text when he refused, asking if he was “protecting the Bidens.”
He then turned the conversation to inquiries regarding a formerly secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which found that the FBI had violated its own policies by conducting erroneous searches pertaining to January 6 and Black Lives Matter protestors. Gaetz drew attention to the fact that Wray had previously told the Senate that, to his knowledge, the FBI had not conducted its January 6 investigation using information from a database of foreign intelligence. The FBI had indeed done that, according to the court’s order.
Gaetz had accused Wray of lying to lawmakers, but Wray responded, “I certainly didn’t perjure myself.” “I didn’t have access to that piece of information at the time I was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” the witness stated.
FBI Director Boasts About Agency’s Recruitment as GOP Rep. Gaetz Questions Public Opinion |
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