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FBI Chief Under Fire For Letting Trump 'Humiliate' The Agency

The director of the FBI should either defend his agency from President Trump’s attacks or resign, an ethics official who served in the George W. Bush administration declared Tuesday.

Trump has claimed that the FBI is “tainted” because of its investigations of Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign. The bureau concluded that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute Clinton for her use of a private email server as secretary of state, but continues to look into allegations that Trump’s team colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 election. As a result, the FBI’s reputation is in “tatters,” according to the president.

“FBI Director Chris Wray is allowing himself and the FBI to be humiliated by Trump and by political hacks in Congress,” Bush’s former ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, tweeted. “Wray needs to do his job and tell all of them to cut it out. If Wray can’t do that he should resign.”

The Hill pointed out that Trump nominated Wray for the position after firing former director James Comey in May. The president admitted, on multiple occasions, that he dismissed Comey in an attempt to stop the bureau’s investigation of election tampering by the Russians.

Trump has been lashing out at FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was involved in the Clinton and Trump probes. The president says McCabe, as well as other high-ranking bureau officials, have demonstrated their prejudice in favor of the Democrat. He argues that the alleged bias was one of the ways Clinton supporters tried to “rig” the election.

Following Trump’s series of Twitter messages last weekend slamming the FBI, Wray wrote in an email to agency employees that he has been “inspired by example after example of professionalism and dedication to justice demonstrated around the bureau.” He added: “It is truly an honor to represent you.”

A number of congressional Republicans also are accusing the FBI and the Justice Department of favoring Clinton over Trump. They cite the recent removal of a pro-Clinton FBI agent from the legal team of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the federal probe of the Trump-Russia scandal. The agent came under fire upon the release of 2016 text messages in which he criticized Trump.

GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled McCabe last week during a 16-hour private hearing, questioning his role in the Clinton and Trump investigations. Democrats cried foul, suggesting that the hearing was a political stunt designed to cast doubt on Mueller’s inquiry.

The special counsel has filed criminal charges against two high-ranking former Trump associates: Paul Manafort, who resigned as Trump campaign chairman in August 2016 after it became known that he had worked as a consultant for a Ukrainian oligarch allied with Russian leader Vladimir Putin; and Michael Flynn, another campaign official who became the Trump administration’s first national security director. The Justice Department is prosecuting Flynn for allegedly lying to FBI agents about his December 2016 contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Trump continues to insist that the investigation is a “witch hunt” by Clinton supporters.

Source: The Hill
Photo: PA, Richard Painter/Twitter

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