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Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s Questioning Of Director Chris Wray Reveals FBI Involvement In DOJ Leak Investigation And Possibility Of Foreign Funding For January 6th Insurrection

June 16, 2021
Press Release
Krishnamoorthi Pressed Director Wray On His Conversations With Justice Department About Subpoenas

WASHINGTON, DC - Yesterday, Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08) questioned FBI Director Wray at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing about any involvement he had in the subpoenas by the Department of Justice for communications data of Members of Congress, their staff, and family members. Mr. Wray was evasive in his answers to Congressman Krishnamoorthi, who directly asked if Mr. Wray spoke about the matter with then Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In the exchange below, Director Wray admitted to the fact that the FBI was in fact involved in the data subpoenas of Members of Congress under the Trump Administration:

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “The FBI was involved with these investigations correct?”

Mr. Wray: “When there are leak investigations, typically the FBI is the investigative agency.”

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “Good, that’s what we thought. The FBI was involved in this investigation. Now sir, and this is during the time that you are the FBI Director, did you ever discuss the Apple subpoenas with Jeff Sessions?”

Mr. Wray: “Congressman, I understand the question. I really don’t want to get out of the Justice Department on this –“

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “Sir, you’re just being asked a simple yes or no question. Did you discuss the leak investigation with Jeff Sessions?”

Mr. Wray: “Congressman, again, respectfully, I’m not trying to be difficult here but the Inspector General has been asked to look into this –“

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “Sir, you’re being evasive. These are yes or no questions sir. You’re under oath. These are yes or no simple questions that we need to get to the bottom of…Sir, serving these secret subpoenas to collect records on Members of Congress is something we’d expect in Putin’s Russia, not the United States, and sir, your involvement needs to be probed just like everyone else’s.”

On MSNBC following the hearing, Fmr. FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissman described Director Wray’s unwillingness to respond to Congressman Krishnamoorthi on basic ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions as, “disheartening to hear the FBI Director dodge and, you know bob and weave.” Weissman further added that, “Congress has its own independent oversight responsibilities so the idea that the FBI Director says I’m not going to answer because we’ve got an internal process going on is really the height of impropriety.”

Congressman Krishnamoorthi also questioned Director Wray on any ongoing investigations by the FBI into foreign payments made to individuals involved in the January 6th insurrection. Krishnamoorthi shared a report that showed over $250,000 was transferred from a French donor to an individual named Nick Fuentes, who is a known white-nationalist leader that took part in the Capitol insurrection. Below is an excerpt of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s questioning to Director Wray on foreign payments made to domestic violent extremists ahead of the January 6th Capitol insurrection:

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “The FBI is investigating the foreign funding of domestic violent extremism, correct?”

Mr. Wray: “… I’m not sure that I can specify funding sitting here right now, but we are very focused on the interplay of the different types of, as you say, non-state actors.”

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “…according to [a] report, one month before January 6th, a French donor ‘lamenting the decline of Western civilization’ sent a quarter million dollars in bitcoin to an individual named Nick Fuentes. Why Nick Fuentes? Nick Fuentes, who has been suspended from YouTube for hate speech, is the self-proclaimed leader of the group ‘groypers,’ a white supremacist opposed to immigration and minorities. The Anti-Defamation League confirmed that many of the groypers members were at the Capitol on January 6th, including Nick Fuentes himself… we’ve seen in reporting from NBC News that the FBI is investigating Nick Fuentes’ involvement in this transaction… sir, you can’t rule out that other far right extremist groups received foreign donations in the lead up to January 6th, can you”

Mr. Wray: “Not only would I not want to rule it out, but certainly the possibility of foreign funding or support for domestic violent extremism is something that is particularly high on our priority list because of the challenges it poses –“

Rep. Krishnamoorthi: “You can’t rule out that foreign financing helped fund activities related to January 6th, right?”

Mr. Wray: “Correct. I’m not sure we’ve seen that at this stage but I certainly wouldn’t purport to rule it out.”

The full video of Congressman Krishnamoorthi’s question line of Mr. Wray can be viewed here.