Christopher Wray Not the Man to 'Proudly' Fix the FBI
What was going on in Donald Trump's head when he tweeted Friday in response to the inspector general's devastating report on the FBI that "Christopher Wray will bring it proudly back!"?
Perhaps the president thought he had better things to do than face another interminable nomination battle for a new director. Or perhaps he was trying to co-opt Wray. But if the FBI is meant to come back, proudly or otherwise, Christopher Wray is not the man. He is part of the problem.
In fact, Wray's continuance as director signals the government is not serious about significantly reforming the FBI and that what changes will be made will be essentially cosmetic, lipstick on the proverbial pig. (The inspector general's report can be read that way as well.)
This is not just because Wray worked under James Comey in his first important job as assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division (2003-2005). That would be guilt by association, although in this instance it's some association. What's more important is what Wray himself has done recently or, more specifically, has not.
Wray began his tenure as FBI director some eleven months ago. Since then the record of the organization has been — it's safe to say — atrocious. They have stonewalled, and continue to stonewall, virtually every oversight request from Senate and House committees in outright defiance of the separation of powers. And when they have relented and revealed documents and texts, they have almost always been redacted beyond recognition, raising more questions than they answered.
Where was Wray in all this? Where was he when the Department of Justice and/or the FBI redacted Peter Strzok's only now revealed (by the IG report) text message that even CNN's Chris Cillizza admits gives "Donald Trump all the 'deep state' ammo he wanted."
PAGE: "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!"
STRZOK: " No. No he won't. We'll stop it." [bold Cillizza's]