Tag Archives: Christopher Wray

Is this the ‘impeachable’ moment?

Can it be that Donald Trump has just scripted his own impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives?

I am wondering if his declaration today to ABC News that he would be willing to break the law if a foreign power produced negative information about a political opponent while he is running for re-election as president of the United States. Trump said he would “look at” the information and wouldn’t feel the need to report it to the FBI.

FBI director Christopher Wray just a month ago told Congress that anyone who got such info must report it to his agency.

Trump told George Stephanopoulos that “the FBI director is wrong.”

Who do you trust? The lying, amoral, unethical head of state or the career professional prosecutor and law enforcement official?

I’m going to stand with Christopher Wray.

As for the House of Representatives and, yes, the Republican-controlled Senate, they should, too.

The question of the moment is this: Will they?

Stand firm, FBI director Wray

I want to declare right here and right now my strong desire for FBI director Christopher Wray to stay where he is, in charge of the world’s premier law enforcement/investigative agency.

You see, Wray has just been undermined by the man who appointed him to his office, the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

Trump told ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept information about a political foe presented to him by a foreign power, even a hostile foreign power, such as, oh, Russia.

Director Wray, though, has said specifically and categorically that any political candidate whose campaign receives such information must turn it over the FBI.

Trump said when reminded of Wray’s view by Stephanopoulos that “The FBI director is wrong.”

There you have it. The president once again is refusing directly to back the wisdom cited by the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Do not go anywhere, Christopher Wray.

Yes, it likely will be a trying time for Wray as the 2020 presidential election gets into full swing. The Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016. Wray’s predecessor as FBI director, James Comey, began looking deeply into “The Russia Thing” and got fired by the president.

The FBI needs a strong leader. Christopher Wray appears to be a grownup and a law enforcement and legal pro. I realize that an ethical professional would find it trying, indeed, to work in a government administration led by someone without an scintilla of ethical understanding.

I just want to beseech Christopher Wray. The nation needs this man. Badly.

Stand tall, Christopher Wray

FBI director Christopher Wray now finds himself in Donald Trump’s sights.

This is the fellow the president appointed to lead the FBI after firing his immediate predecessor, James Comey. Now it’s Director Wray who is receiving criticism from the president of the United States.

Why is that? Oh, let’s see. He declines to use the word “spying” when describing how the FBI conducts “intelligence-gathering” operations. Trump likes to use the words “spy” and “spying” when describing what he alleges occurred during the final months of the Obama administration, which he said involved illegal “spying” on the Trump presidential campaign.

Wray also has declined to endorse the idiocy promoted by Trump that suggests that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” and “obstruction of justice” was an attempted “coup” by the FBI to “overthrow the president.”

No one has sought to launch a “coup” against Donald Trump. No one has sought to “overthrow” the president. That’s never happened. It won’t ever happen. We have this document called the U.S. Constitution that serves as a bulwark for this representative democracy that governs us.

Wray also has declared that Russia continues to interfere in our electoral process, just as it did during the 2016 presidential campaign. He smacks Trump squarely in the proverbial puss when he says what Trump continues to deny has occurred: that the Russians are supremely bad actors intent on sowing discord within this nation.

Christopher Wray is a seasoned professional. He runs the nation’s top law enforcement agency. He — just like Comey and Mueller, two former FBI directors — also possesses a first-class legal mind.

Donald Trump once again is attacking the agency led by someone he selected. He said over the weekend in yet another Twitter tidal wave that the FBI “has no leadership.”

Actually, the FBI does have competent leaders at the top of its chain of command. The lack of “leadership” exists inside the White House.

Russia, not the media, is the ‘enemy of people’

I already have stated my regret at dismissing Mitt Romney’s assertion in 2012 that Russia was this nation’s “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” He was right; those of us who criticized him were wrong.

Moreover, I also have stated — and restated countless times — my belief that Donald Trump should accept that reality and start treating the Russian government as the “enemy” it is.

I’m going to do so yet again. It likely won’t be the final time, either.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, in a talk before the Council on Foreign Relations this past week, said the Russians are working 24/7/365 at trying to undermine our electoral system. They did it in 2016, he said, and again in 2018. They are hard at work setting the table for what he called “the big show,” which would be the 2020 presidential election.

Where is the president on all of this? He’s nowhere, man.

Instead, he is attacking the media, Democrats, special counsel Robert Mueller, climate change advocates, abortion-rights activists. Political foes are fair game.

Russian President Vladimir Putin remains somehow protected from the same level of outrage that Trump levels at his domestic opponents. Why in the world is that the case?

Perhaps that is the question that the 2020 campaign will flesh out over time.

Trump stood before the media in Helsinki and trashed his intelligence and counterterrorism experts and accepted Putin’s denial that the Russians interfered in our election. He has continued to denigrate the intelligence community and continued to go soft on Putin, who — I hasten to add — is a former Soviet spy master.

Donald Trump is unloading his barrages on the wrong targets. The media aren’t the “enemy of the people.” Nor are Democrats. The FBI comprises professional law enforcement and legal professionals dedicated to protecting this nation from its enemies.

One of those enemies happens to function inside the Kremlin. That enemy is seeking to continue the work it started upon the 2016 Republican presidential candidate’s invitation to look for Hillary Clinton’s “missing e-mails.” That candidate, of course, was Donald John Trump.

The candidate-turned-president must cease his attacks on the media and focus them instead on the real No. 1 enemy of this nation and its citizens.

Russia still poses existential threat

Even though Donald Trump and his grifter son-in-law, Jared Kushner, continue to downplay the threat Russia poses to our electoral system, FBI director Christopher Wray is telling us something profoundly different.

I choose to heed the words of Christopher Wray.

Wray calls the Russian threat a “365-days-a-year threat. And that has absolutely continued.”

Yes, the Russians hacked into our electoral system in 2016. They sowed discord among American voters. They spread “opposition research” material designed to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.

The Russians are the baddest of a whole cast of bad actors.

Donald Trump just can’t bring himself to say it out loud. Neither can Kushner, who recently said that Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged “collusion” posed a greater threat to our democratic system than “a couple of Facebook ads.”

Memo to Kushner: Shut your mouth. And to Trump? Start defending our Constitution, which you pledged to do when you took the presidential oath.

The FBI director is among the cadre of national intelligence and counterterrorism experts who have confirmed what all of us know: The Russians are chiefly responsible for the cyber attack on our system. Mueller said so, too, in his voluminous report on collusion and obstruction of justice.

It simply amazes me that Donald Trump could appoint such a serious grownup to be FBI boss after firing another adult, James Comey. I’m glad he did give Christopher Wray this platform. What’s more, I am delighted to hear the FBI boss use that platform to speak the truth about what he believes happened in the 2016 presidential election, the 2018 midterm election and what likely will occur when we go to the polls again in 2020.

If only the commander in chief would pay attention.

New ‘grownups’ emerge in Trump administration

I was mistaken when I wondered whether former Defense Secretary James Mattis would be the “last” grownup who could serve in the Donald Trump administration.

Mattis quit as defense chief, citing Trump’s impulsiveness and the profound differences the president and the defense secretary had on their view of the world. He planned to stay until the end of February; but then Trump showed him out at the end of 2018, declaring that he “essentially” fired Mattis.

More of grownups have emerged. They are FBI Director Christopher Wray, CIA Director Gina Haspel and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

These three counter terrorism experts have contradicted the president on the threats posed to the world by the Islamic State and the North Koreans.

And yet the president insulted all of them collectively. He insulted the agencies they run. The president hurled insults at the professional men and women who work day and night protecting us from forces that seek to do us harm.

Wray, Haspel and Coats need to stay put. They need to protect us not just against foreign forces and enemies of the state, but also against the ignoramus who masquerades as the president of the United States.

Trump has denigrated Wray, Haspel and Coats in their assessment of the threats posed to this country. The president said ISIS has been defeated. He said North Korea no longer poses a nuclear threat. He is wrong on both counts. The three intelligence experts said so, but Trump responded by calling them “na├»ve” and said they need to be “educated.”

No, they do not. The president of the United States has demonstrated yet again that he is unfit to hold the office to which he was elected.

WH trots out intelligence officials to state the obvious

If we only could hear this kind of language come out of the mouth of the president of the United States.

Five top U.S. intelligence officials today stood before the media and declared in virtually a single voice that Russia interfered in our 2016 election; the Russians acted alone; they sought to undermine our democratic process; they are engaging in such electoral interference at this moment.

Stunning, eh? Sure it is! They all are telling Americans what millions of us know already.

“The threat is not going away. Russia attempted to interfere in the last election and continues to do so to this day,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said.

One key White House source, though, remains oddly tepid. The president of the United States himself cannot yet bring himself to condemn in the strongest language possible the actions of Russian intelligence officials.

Donald J. Trump needs to step up. He needs to weigh in. He needs to tell the public that he has laid down the law to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin and has told him — in no uncertain terms — that severe punishment will await the Russians if they persist in sabotaging our electoral process.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, moreover, still doesn’t know what Trump and Putin said behind closed doors in their summit in Helsinki, Finland. It’s been — what? — three weeks since the summit. The DNI, the nation’s top intelligence official, still doesn’t know what they said? That is unconscionable!

I am going to give credit where it is due. The intelligence chiefs are telling us the truth. They have confirmed what many of us have known all along.

The man at the top of the executive branch of government chain of command, though, needs to speak clearly and without equivocation about the things his top national security and intelligence advisers have declared.

GOP appointees turn on their benefactor

The president of the United States is steamed that the FBI raided his private attorney’s office in a hunt for evidence related to the president’s fling with porn queen Stormy Daniels.

He calls it a “disgrace” and an assault on “everything we stand for.”

Interesting, isn’t it?

But let’s remember something: The three men who signed off on this raid all are Donald J. Trump appointees. That would be Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Southern District U.S. Attorney Gregory Berman and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

What is the president going to do? Is he going to fire them? All of them? Will he terminate them as a precursor to firing special counsel Robert Mueller?

The raid is intended to bring to light what transpired when Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 to keep her quiet about the alleged 2006 liaison with the man who would become president a decade later. Oh, but Trump keeps saying he didn’t have a fling with the porn start. He said he didn’t know about the payment of 130 grand in hush money.

I’m left to wonder: If Trump and Daniels didn’t take a tumble, what in the world is the hush money is all about? And are we supposed to believe that Trump’s lawyer would do something so foolish and stupid as pay someone off without telling his client?

Bizarre. Yes?

No need for FBI boss to resign

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is understandably enraged.

I cannot blame the Republican politician for his anger that the FBI failed to act on multiple tips it had on the young man charged with murdering 17 people in Parkland, Fla. on Valentine’s Day.

However, he needs to dial his rage back just a notch, maybe two. He has called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign because of his agency’s failure to respond to the tips it received.

Wray does not need to quit. Why? His agency is being undermined at virtually every turn by none other than the president of the United States. The very last thing the FBI needs is for its director to quit, to create yet another leadership vacuum at a time when the nation’s law enforcement/intelligence community is under attack.

What is most troubling to me is that these attacks are coming from within our borders. Donald Trump seeks to undermine the FBI’s credibility by lambasting its leadership; meantime, congressional Republicans have joined that chorus as well, by blasting the FBI over alleged bias in its probe into Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election.

I, too, am angry that the FBI didn’t act when it received credible tips that the Parkland shooting suspect had plans to become a “professional” assassin. The FBI didn’t connect the dots. It didn’t do its job.

Is that Christopher Wray’s fault? Should he take the fall now while his agency already is reeling from attacks launched by — of all people — the nation’s president?

Absolutely not! Let the man get to work repairing the breakdown that resulted in such tragedy.

FBI set to clash with POTUS over memo

This is a new one.

The director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, is now clashing openly with the man who nominated him, the president of the United States.

At issue is the release of a Republican-authored memorandum that alleges FBI misdeeds relating to a dossier that suggests improper relations between Donald J. Trump and the Russian government.

GOP House committee members want the memo released, suggesting it contains “evidence” of a “secret society” within the FBI. Wray disputes the idea. He is standing foursquare in defense of the agency he has led for just a few months. He’s also taking on the president himself, urging him against releasing the memo.

Trump has let it be known he is inclined to release the memo, which could undermine the FBI with critics of the document say doesn’t tell anywhere near the whole story of what the FBI knew and when it knew it. White House chief of staff John Kelly has said the memo will be made public “pretty quick.”

We might be witnessing something virtually unprecedented. Trump might fire the second FBI director in less than a year, unless Wray quits beforehand. And standing with Wray is the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller — another former FBI director — as special counsel to examine the “Russia thing.”

From my vantage point, I believe we are witnessing a big-time train wreck that is going to produce more than its share of collateral damage.

One of the casualties — if Trump releases the memo to the public — might be Rosenstein. Wray might hit the road. Oh, and what about Mueller, the man who was universally praised when Rosenstein selected him to lead the Russia investigation after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself?

I keep circling back to the president’s assertion that there’s no evidence of “collusion” between his campaign and the Russians who hacked into our electoral system in 2016.

If that is the case, then let Mueller’s investigation proceed. If there’s nothing there, then let the special counsel make that determination. The more protests that come from Republicans — and from the president — the more I am inclined to suspect there’s a fire burning under all that smoke.

As for Wray, he told senators he would be unafraid to challenge the president if the need arose.

The need has arisen.