Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee agree that FBI Director Christopher Wray needs to be better at his job, but their attempts to rein in the incompetence and scandal plaguing a multitude of federal agencies, including intelligence agencies, just aren’t cutting it.
Several Republicans have signaled they plan to investigate corrupt and partisan bureaucrats such as Dr. Anthony Fauci and Wray if they win back Congress in the November midterms. For now, while Democrats control the White House and the legislative branch, the GOP has resorted to letters and the occasional “oversight hearing” that accomplishes little..
If Republicans’ failure to hold bureaucrats accountable via letter-writing campaigns wasn’t apparent before, it was after an oversight hearing on Thursday when, instead of taking responsibility for any of his agency’s failures including the botched Larry Nassar investigation, a Hunter Biden investigation cover-up, and the slow response to pro-abortion attacks across the nation, Wray repeatedly refused to answer questions about the FBI’s track record of lying in ways that affect national election outcomes.
As a matter of fact, he doubled down and refused to condemn the Russia collusion hoax that his agency proudly spun for years.
During the hearing, multiple GOP senators expressed doubts that the FBI under Wray has fairly enforced the rule of law in the United States. Some even suggested it’s time for Wray to clean house. Yet most of those same senators were the ones who voted to confirm Wray as FBI head in 2017.
While it may have been difficult for senators to get an accurate read on Wray following his nomination thanks to a Russian collusion hoax media firestorm, there was at least one sign that senators, especially Republicans concerned about corruption, should have noted before voting to hand Wray control of the nation’s primary domestic intelligence agency based on former President Donald Trump’s recommendation.
Wray had a positive relationship with former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired for being a sloppy bureaucrat who investigated the incoming president based on fraudulent reporting by Christopher Steele. From 2003 to 2005, Wray worked at the Department of Justice as assistant attorney general under Comey, who was at the DOJ as deputy attorney general.
In the end, only five senators, all Democrats, voted against Wray’s confirmation.
It didn’t take long after that for Republicans to realize their support for Wray was a mistake. By 2019, Trump expressed doubt that Wray “will never be able to fix the FBI,” but some Senate Republicans still came to Wray’s defense.
The FBI and dozens of other federal agencies are rife with problems and internal chaos that is only exacerbated by the people in charge. If Republicans did a better job of vetting corrupt and incompetent bureaucrats before rubber-stamping them, or of making it possible to fire such bureaucrats instead of writing them letters after they are already in untouchable leadership positions, Americans might finally believe promises of “accountability.”
The GOP claims to be frustrated with bureaucrats such as Wray for failing, but that hasn’t stopped them from rubber-stamping extremist nominees such as Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Or voting with Democrats to funnel even more money to corrupt agencies like the FBI.
Poor personnel choices were Trump’s self-inflicted Achilles heel. As my Federalist colleague Eddie noted, that’s why the hint of a “swamp shakedown” if Trump runs again and wins a second term is so appealing to Americans desperate for trustworthy institutions.
Trump, however, is not promised office again. That is why the blame for the FBI and every other agency’s unchecked power rests solely on Republicans who willfully vote to confirm radical, corrupt bureaucrats who stay in charge for decades.
Without good discernment about the types of people this nation requires to be healthy, functional, and give fair and equal treatment to all, the checks and balances that the Founding Fathers designed to hold our nation together will be no more. If Republicans repeatedly refuse to vet and vote against radical nominees, the possibility of true accountability is eliminated and our institutions will become even more corrupt.