FBI Director Christopher Wray is once again incurring the wrath of a Republican lawmaker following testimony last week in which he was grilled about the politicization of his agency.
Wray appeared before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Thursday and was grilled by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) who asked when there would be any accountability for some of the agency’s recent actions.
The newly reelected senator asked Wray if he had read reports that Johnson issued in September 2020, just before the presidential election, with Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, on “Hunter Biden’s corruption.”
“I have had a chance to look at it,” Wray said.
“Do you see any, any sign of Russian disinformation in those reports?” Johnson asked.
After a pause, Wray claimed: “That would be a hard question for me to answer.”
“No,” Johnson quickly responded. “It’s a very easy answer. There is no Russian disinformation. That report is completely clean of any interference or foreign influence.”
He then said that a letter from 51 former intelligence officials claiming that information gleaned from Hunter Biden’s infamous laptop could be Russian disinformation “interfered in the 2020 election to a far greater extent than anything Russia or China ever could have hoped to accomplish.”
The evidence of interference, he told Wray, “has to be investigated.”
“I have no faith that you will do so,” Johnson concluded.
Later, Johnson told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he doesn’t believe “a word” that Wray says.
He pointed out that under Wray’s watch, beginning in 2017, the FBI told the Senate Intelligence Committee in March 2018 that the ‘Steele dossier’ “had integrity even though they knew it was tainted with Russian disinformation.”
“Under his watch, the FBI obtained Hunter Biden’s laptop in December 2019 and did nothing with it. Under his watch, according to whistleblowers, they developed a scheme in August of 2020 to downplay the derogatory information to deep-six the investigation,” Johnson continued.
“Under his watch in that same month, they provided an unsolicited briefing to Senator Grassley and myself,” he added. “It was a nothing briefing. I knew it was a setup and it was a setup because nine months later, they leaked at the Washington Post to smear me and therefore interfered in the 2022 Wisconsin U.S. Senate election.
Johnson also accused the FBI of interfering in the 2016 and 2020 elections against Donald Trump.
“His primary job is as the new director was to clean up and restore integrity and credibility of the FBI. He has failed miserably,” Johnson charged.
“I don’t believe a word he says, and that’s unfortunate.”