GOP pol gives FBI boss 3rd de­gree on agents

New York Post - - NEWS - By MARK MOORE With Wires

A Repub­li­can con­gress­man took the ex­tra­or­di­nary step of rat­tling off the names of top FBI of­fi­cials dur­ing a pub­lic hear­ing Thurs­day — and de­manded that the bureau’s di­rec­tor say whether any of them has made nega­tive com­ments about Pres­i­dent Trump.

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, ques­tion­ing FBI Di­rec­tor Christo­pher Wray dur­ing a House Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee hear­ing, said Wray’s pre­de­ces­sor, James Comey, had “weak­ened the agency” be­cause of his bungling of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Hil­lary Clin­ton’s e-mail server.

Gohmert also raised con­cerns about the po­lit­i­cal lean­ings of FBI agent Peter Str­zok, who was re­as­signed last sum­mer af­ter it was re­vealed he sent anti-Trump texts dur­ing the Clin­ton probe.

“Are you aware of any se­nior FBI ex­ec­u­tives” speak­ing against the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion? Gohmert asked the new FBI chief.

“I’m not aware of any se­nior FBI ex­ec­u­tives who are al­low­ing im­proper po­lit­i­cal con­sid­er­a­tions to af­fect their work with me right now,” Wray re­sponded.

Then Gohmert be­gan read­ing off names, in­clud­ing Carl Ghat­tas.

“My ex­pe­ri­ence with Ex­ec­u­tive As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor Ghat­tas has been very pos­i­tive and he’s been a com­plete pro­fes­sional in all of my in­ter­ac­tions with him,” Wray said.

Gohmert ticked off sev­eral more names — one of whom Wray said he didn’t know.

“No,” he told Gohmert af­ter each name was read.

The list in­cluded Bryan Paar­mann, the spe­cial agent in charge of coun­tert­er­ror­ism in the New York field of­fice, and Joshua Skule, the ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant di­rec­tor in the in­tel­li­gence branch.

“It’s im­por­tant that we have fairminded peo­ple — there’s never been a re­quire­ment that any­body not be able to vote or have po­lit­i­cal be­liefs — just they not let them af­fect their out­look,” Gohmert said.

The com­mit­tee mem­bers grilled Wray on whether the FBI used a dou­ble stan­dard in how it treated the probes into Clin­ton’s e-mails and the pos­si­ble col­lu­sion by Trump cam­paign as­so­ciates with Rus­sian of­fi­cials.

Wray wouldn’t go into de­tails of the Clin­ton in­ves­ti­ga­tion, say­ing the mat­ter was un­der re­view by the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s in­spec­tor gen­eral.

He also de­fended the agency from Trump’s com­ments over the week­end that Comey, whom the pres­i­dent fired last May, had left the bureau “in tat­ters.”

“What I can tell you is that the FBI that I see is tens of thou­sands of agents and an­a­lysts and staff work­ing their tails off to keep Amer­i­cans safe,” Wray told the com­mit­tee.

But he con­ceded the FBI isn’t perfect.

“Do we make mis­takes? You bet we make mis­takes, just like any­body who’s hu­man makes mis­takes,” he said.

Trump at­tacked the FBI in a tweet on Satur­day, a day af­ter his former na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to ly­ing to the FBI about his con­tacts with Rus­sian of­fi­cials.

Flynn, whom Trump fired last Fe­bru­ary, is co­op­er­at­ing in spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s probe into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 elec­tion.

WRAY GUN: FBI Di­rec­tor Christo­pher Wray is grilled Thurs­day by Rep. Louie Gohmert (in­set).


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.