FBI Director Christopher Wray actually stayed in his chair for the duration of the House Judiciary Committee’s questioning on Wednesday, rather than skipping out to catch a private jet to go trout fishing. But he managed to use the same techniques he always does to avoid answering questions and at times showed flashes of truly pathetic leadership.
Instead of answering a direct question, he typically responds only that he has to “be careful” in how he answers. The irony here is that the FBI has utterly failed to be careful in carrying out other areas of its job, notably respecting the rights of everyone regardless of their political persuasions and connections.
Dodging questions might be getting more challenging for Wray, though, because each successive time he testifies, we have more context --- more we’ve learned from whistleblowers and troves of documents about what the FBI has been up to. I’d venture to say there are more people rolling their eyes at him now than there were at his last appearance.
This time it was Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz who came out swinging at the FBI director, and his frustration at not being able to get answers from Wray was on full display. “You preside over the FBI, and it has the lowest level of trust in the FBI’s history,” Gaetz said. “People trusted the FBI more when J. Edgar Hoover was running the place than when you are. And the reason is ‘cause you don’t give straight answers. You give answers that later a court deems aren’t true, and at the end of the day, you won’t criticize an obvious shakedown when it’s directly in front of us, and it appears as though you’re whitewashing the conduct of corrupt people.”
The “shakedown” reference was to whistleblower allegations that in an FBI “1023” form, Hunter Biden was alleged to have threatened a Chinese executive whose company hadn’t yet made good on its “commitment” to the Bidens, mentioning on the phone that his father, then the Vice President, was there in the room with him. Congress finally obtained the “1023” in mostly-unredacted form detailing this story, along with supporting evidence that both Joe and Hunter were at Joe’s Wilmington home that day, and that $10 million was sent to the Bidens soon after.
When asked about this “shakedown,” Wray would only say, “I’m not gonna get into commenting on that.” This pitiful response led Gaetz to ask him straight-out if he was protecting the Bidens, a question we all by now know the answer to. It’s doubtful that Wray’s tepid “absolutely not” persuaded anyone that he wasn’t.
AMERICAN GREATNESS has more of their exchange.
Watch the video here…
Wray even had the temerity to deny that the FBI engages in any censorship of American citizens on social media. Under questioning, he said the FBI’s focus was on “foreign hostile actors” and that the Bureau “is not in the business of moderating content or causing any social media company to suppress or censor.” That is not even close to the truth; Wray’s FBI has made it very much their business, and apparently still does. (See yesterday’s newsletter story about the FBI’s efforts to suppress social media messages on behalf of Ukrainian intelligence.)
By far the highlight of Wednesday’s hearing was (sadly) not anything Wray said but what freshman Texas Rep. Wesley Hunt said about the differences in how two Presidents are being treated. He said the disastrous poll numbers tell Biden that “the only way to stop President Trump from beating him is by putting him in jail.” TOWNHALL’s story includes the video
From what he said yesterday, Hunt deserves to be a rising star in the GOP. Check out this resume.
In another exchange, Texas Rep. Chip Roy asked Wray about the case of Mark Houck, the pro-life activist who was arrested by the FBI during a massive armed raid, over an incident that had taken place a year earlier. Houck’s attorney had already reached out to the FBI and said his client would appear voluntarily. Local authorities had investigated the incident and their case had been closed. When Rep. Roy asked Wray if he thought it was appropriate for the FBI to treat Houck this way, Wray dodged again, saying he wouldn’t “second-guess the judgment of the career agents on the ground who made the determination.”
Good grief. “Inadequate” is much too kind a word. Watch the video here…
When abuses this horrendous are taking place, someone in charge NEEDS to second-guess them. Why even bother having an FBI director? Just let partisan assistants and rogue agents and informants trample Americans’ rights. The result would be the same. In fact, we’ve theorized for a long time that Wray’s second-in-command, Lisa Monaco, formerly with the Obama administration, is really running the show, with essentially no oversight.
Under questioning from Wyoming Rep. Harriet Hageman, Wray admitted the FBI had continued to meet with social media companies until U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s injunction was issued on July 4. But he objected to her characterization of what the FBI had been doing, while offering no alternative explanation.
“Do you really expect the American people to believe that you were not involved in the decisions related to using social media companies to suppress the First Amendment rights of American citizens?” she asked. He answered with his usual vagueness: “I can only speak to what the facts are.” And then, he fails to address those facts.
“Did Joe Biden take payments from Burisma or any foreign companies as Vice President, President, or as a private citizen Biden?” asked Wisconsin Rep. Tom Tiffany, in reference to an alleged $5 million bribe paid by corrupt Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings. After some dodging by Wray, Rep. Tiffany asked him if the President is under investigation. Naturally, Wray refused to confirm or deny that, citing “longstanding department policy and practice.”
It seems to be the longstanding department policy and practice to avoid telling Congress anything.
RELATED: If the FBI actually were investigating President Biden, they surely would have connected the same dots linking the Bidens, current administration officials such as Secretary of State Tony Blinken, and the players in Ukraine that Nick Arama at REDSTATE connects in his latest report. Actually, as he points out, this is all material that REDSTATE, the NEW YORK POST and Tucker Carlson were covering in 2020 --- before the election. (Note: we did, too, in the newsletter.) These stories come around again and seem new, but those who paid attention the first time are feeling deja vu. We’re also exasperated that there’s never any resolution.
Anyway, Arama hones in on an email from November 2, 2015, showing Hunter Biden and Burisma executives talking about hiring the lobbying firm Blue Star --- whose CEO had been Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff --- to counter-message any investigations into Burisma and Burisma’s founder, the same individual who allegedly paid bribes to the Bidens. They discuss the “organization of a visit of a number of widely recognized and influential current and/or former US policy makers to Ukraine in November…”
Turns out, Biden made his now-infamous visit to Ukraine, the one in which he threatened the withdrawal of foreign aid to get prosecutor Viktor Shokin fired, in December 2015. At the beginning of December, Blue Star had been on a conference call with the Obama/Biden team about that very trip, so it appears President Obama was clued in.
For when you have time to wade into this, it’ll be interesting. Think the FBI has been seriously looking into this? Me, neither.