Reps. Krishnamoorthi and Raskin: FBI Director Must Confirm Independence From White House
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Jamie Raskin today sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley and Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein urging them to bring the President’s nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, back before their committee to ask him to maintain the Bureau’s independence from the White House. The letter from the two Representatives comes in the wake of the President’s interview with the NY Times in which he stated his belief, contrary to established law, that the Director of the FBI reports directly to him rather than to the Attorney General.
The text of the Congressmen’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee follows and a signed copy is viewable here:
July 20, 2017
The Honorable Senator Grassley The Honorable Senator Dianne Feinstein
Chairman, Judiciary Committee Ranking Minority Member, Judiciary Committee
United States Senate United States Senate
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building 224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510 Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Grassley and Senator Feinstein,
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is our nation’s premier counterintelligence and law enforcement agency. Regardless of party or administration, the FBI and its staff work diligently to protect the American people from threats and keep our national secrets secure. Since the firing of former FBI Director James Comey in May, it is more vital now than ever before that the FBI remain free of outside influence and political pressure.
We were concerned to read on July 19 that the President of the United States believes the Director of the FBI ultimately reports directly to him, rather than the Attorney General. Not only is this inaccurate – as the law clearly states the chain of command – but also deeply troubling given the ongoing investigation into the President and members of his staff. Statements of this nature undermine the American people’s faith in its government.
The President’s nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, has consistently demonstrated the credentials necessary to lead the FBI in these troubled times. In his testimony to the Senate, we were pleased to hear him commit to the FBI’s integrity and apolitical mission. His unanimous passage through the Senate Judiciary Committee shows that he has earned the trust of every Senator on that Committee.
However, given the President’s recent statements, the full Senate and the American people deserve to know, beyond any doubt, that Mr. Wray will not be compromised or bow to pressure from the President, and that under his leadership, the FBI will continue to enforce the law without passion, prejudice, or political pressure. We urge you to bring Mr. Wray back to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and ask him to commit to maintaining the proper chain of command within the Department of Justice and to resist all pressures from any President throughout his tenure. The Committee should also secure Mr. Wray’s written testimony asserting his impartiality.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to hearing from you.
Raja Krishnamoorthi Jamie Raskin
Member of Congress Member of Congress