'Just a disgrace': Former DOJ officials express concern, call for resignation of FBI Director Wray
Christopher Wray, the Trump-appointed Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is in hot water as former Dept. of Justice officials express concern, with some calling for his resignation.
“Christopher Wray has a problem and it’s coming from inside the house,” says Asha Rangappa, a former FBI Special Agent, a senior lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, a legal and national security analyst, and a CNN commentator.
Rangappa was responding to a damning report on Thursday from NBC News Justice reporter Ryan J. Reilly.
“Another former Oath Keepers member testifies that he tried to tip off the FBI and other officials after he recorded an Oath Keepers call he was concerned about in Nov. 2020, before Jan. 6,” Reilly tweeted.
“Did anyone call you back?” the Oath Keeper was asked.
“Yeah, after it all happened,” he responded.
“On Nov. 9, 2020,” The Washington Post explains, “as Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes told members of his paramilitary group to get ready to fight for President Donald Trump in the streets of Washington, one listener was secretly recording, an FBI agent testified Tuesday.”
“An ‘increasingly alarmed follower’ recorded the meeting and shared it with law enforcement, prosecutor Jeffrey Nestler said Monday in the federal trial of Rhodes and four others accused of a seditious conspiracy to keep Trump in office. But the tip, sent to the FBI on Nov. 25, 2020, was apparently ignored.”
NBC News Justice and Intelligence Correspondent Ken Dilanian, responding to the Post’s report, tweeted: “The FBI got [a] tip in November 2020 about the Oath Keepers’ plans for an armed fight in DC–but apparently ignored it. This is the latest evidence of a massive failure to act on available intelligence that all but predicted Jan. 6th. The FBI has no comment.”
Attorney Andrew Weissmann spent 20 years at the U.S. Dept. of Justice, including serving as chief of the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section. At the FBI, Weissmann was director of the Bureau’s Enron Task Force, and served as FBI General Counsel. He also held a management role on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Late Thursday night, also responding to Reilly’s tweet, Weissmann declared: “Wray has to go. It’s just a disgrace. With not an ounce of expressed remorse.”
Weissmann is not alone.
Former SDNY Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Signorelli says, “I am joining [Andrew Weissmann] in calling for the resignation of Christopher Wray @FBI director for, at the very least, gross incompetence, & at the very worst, turning a blind eye to the 1/6 insurrection that was to happen. He is partially responsible for the death & destruction.”
Reilly’s tweet about a major tip getting ignored by the FBI received a great deal of attention.
Journalist JJ MacNab, a Fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, responded to it, saying, “I can tell you from personal experience, this rings true.”
Award–winning journalist Andrea Bernstein also responded to Reilly’s tweet, writing: “Another tip, sent before J6 to FBI. That’s two early tips from Oath Keepers. Plus Jackson Reffitt, son of convicted J6 attacker guy Reffit. There were So. Many. Warnings.”
Wray became the Director of the FBI in August of 2017. FBI Directors are appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate, for a 10-year term. Presidents can fire FBI Directors technically for any reason, but doing so can lead to calls of politicization.
Donald Trump, as president, infamously fired FBI Director Jim Comey, one day later telling top Russian officials inside the Oval Office doing so removed “great pressure” on him from the Russia investigation.