On January 5th, Fox News published an opinion piece by FBI Director Christopher Wray entitled, “America’s crime problem is real. Tackling it requires respect for cops.” Before engaging the substance of Wray’s piece, I will note the significance of his choices in timing and distribution platform. With Republicans assuming majority control of the House of Representatives the same week, Wray finds himself in a precarious situation. The GOP is poised to launch congressional investigations into the FBI's rampant politicization, corruption, and abuse. Wray seeks to rebrand himself as a stalwart of nonpartisanship and devotion to law and order in the eyes of conservative news consumers anxiously anticipating bombshell revelations from forthcoming House Judiciary Committee hearings. These are the futile efforts of a desperate man clinging to a leadership position he has proven so ill-equipped to fill.
Wray, a former federal prosecutor, provides us evidence of his fecklessness with his own words. In the op-ed, Wray discusses the rise in violent crime across America and the FBI’s efforts to assist state and local authorities. Wray says the FBI is “working to build capacity and deploy additional resources to some of the hardest-hit cities where that support is most needed.” Where was Wray’s focus in 2020 when violent anarchists attempted to establish an “autonomous zone” in Seattle, rioters attacked a federal courthouse in Portland, and looters burned businesses in Minneapolis? Instead, in recent years the FBI devoted large swaths of its $10 billion budget to investigate Christians praying outside abortion clinics, parents speaking loudly at school board meetings, and citizens expressing election fraud concerns on social media.
Wray calls for law enforcement agencies to “better engage with communities we serve to earn their trust and cooperation.” Did Wray seriously believe that deploying the FBI’s hostage rescue team to aid the execution of a search warrant at the home of a former American president would earn trust and cooperation from the public? How has utilizing a dozen undercover agents and informants to entrap and criminally charge a small group of men with conspiring to “kidnap” the governor of Michigan endeared the FBI to America? Does the FBI’s complete failure to achieve any perceivable progress in the identification and apprehension of the January 6th RNC/DNC pipe bomber warrant public praise and adulation?
The piece concludes with an appeal to “continue to attract dedicated public servants to this calling…” As an indefinitely suspended FBI whistleblower, color me skeptical. I made protected disclosures concerning the FBI’s failures to adhere to its case management and investigative rules, as well as potential abuses of authority. In my meetings with FBI executive management, I expressed my devotion to the country and commitment to uphold the special agent oath of office as the driving motivation for sounding the alarm and refusing to participate in potentially illegal search and arrest operations. Their responses? One of Wray’s executives countered that I had a “duty to the FBI.” Another encouraged me to “do some soul searching” and decide if I had a future with the agency. Clearly, Wray’s FBI prefers devotion to the agency to dedication to public service.
In the past, my fellow indefinitely suspended FBI whistleblower Kyle Seraphin noted Wray’s unimpressive and milquetoast nature. Seraphin contrasts Wray with his predecessor James Comey whose physical size, according to Seraphin, at least made him appear like he was the physical embodiment of a middle finger to America whenever he stood in a group of FBI employees.
I wholeheartedly concur with Seraphin’s observations. However, I will proffer an addendum. Comey wantonly and bombastically self-aggrandized. His theatrical sanctimony and tendencies toward self-promotion revealed themselves in the final days of his tenure as FBI Director and ballooned to parodical levels after his firing. In stark contrast, Wray’s latest public relations foray amplifies his mediocrity. To his credit, Wray has the self-awareness to realize he lacks the necessary charisma and intestinal fortitude to make the necessary reforms at the FBI to avert the pending tsunami of congressional subpoenas and inquiries. So he has decided his best option for career preservation is a tried and true appeal to “support the thin blue line.” His words are as diminutive and unremarkable as his physical stature compared to Comey’s. And like his predecessor, Christopher Wray should be recognized as a failure and summarily dismissed from office.