- He actively collaborated with Rod Rosenstein in delaying and thwarting GOP House investigators who were attempting to get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax.
- He continues to delay DoJ investigative efforts by holding up declassification of key documents.
- He has publicly contradicted AG Barr, saying that he disagrees with Barr's characterization of FBI actions during the 2016 campaign--and continuing, it now appears, virtually up to the present--as "spying."
- Most recently, Wray responded to Senator Ted Cruz's call for a RICO investigation of Antifa by stating that the FBI views antifa as more of an ideology and noted that the FBI does not investigate ideology. He went on to suggest that the FBI was investigating "anarchist extremists" more or less as individuals.
Who can take a guy like this seriously? The FBI didn't engage in active "spying" on a political campaign and candidate? Really? Antifa activities are not coordinated? Really? Chris Wray is a waste of space.
Is it any wonder that one of Wray's remaining allies--Dan Coats--is being removed as DNI? Who thinks that when President Trump--only days after Wray's absurd statements about Antifa--stated that "[c]onsideration is being given to declaring ANTIFA ... a major Organization of Terror", Trump had not already discussed the matter with Bill Barr? Count on it: Bill Barr is NOT on the same page with Chris Wray. Discount Barr's public "nice talk," just as you should discount his public "my friend Bob" statements. I have no doubt at all that Barr has taken the measure of Wray.
In the wake of Coats' ouster from DNI, Paul Sperry tweeted:
BREAKING: Coats' ouster at ODNI is just the start of a major Trump shake-up of the Intelligence Community -- more changes are coming at other IC agencies
I have to believe that Sperry is spot on: Trump--and Barr--are looking at taking control of the IC. And that has to include CIA and FBI. Barr has given Wray a chance to be a team player, but Wray is clearly playing for a different team.
With that in mind, John Solomon writes today that Chris Wray's FBI continues to cover for Team Comey's Russia shenanigans. Right. That comes in the wake of former Acting AG Matt Whitaker statements that James Comey is under investigation. Well, that came as a blinding revelation to sundance at CTH, who continues his juvenile disparaging of AG Barr. The bigger point, however, is that Solomon's (and Sperry's) detailed articles, citing sources who have given them peeks at key documents, are certainly authorized leaks. And when Solomon talks about Wray covering for the misconduct of a target of DoJ investigation, a message is being sent. That message is NOT that Barr and Trump have full confidence in and fully support Chris Wray. As Solomon concludes, covering for Comey's FBI is not acceptable, and that's "a lesson Chris Wray should learn, quickly."
So, Solomon is reporting that:
The FBI is going to court to fight the public release of a small number of documents the State Department sent to [the FBI] from Christopher Steele, the British intelligence operative and Hillary Clinton-paid political muckraker, during the 2016 election.
What's at issue here are the documents relating to Christopher Steele and his "dossier" that former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec sent to the FBI, and which were only recently discovered--Chris Wray's FBI had been concealing them. Now, according to the FBI filing, releasing those documents would
Allow terrorist organizations and other hostile or foreign intelligence groups to deduce from these documents FBI means and methods of gathering intelligence, and thus thwart the US government;
Jeopardize "the fragile relationships that exist between the United States and certain foreign governments”;
Violate the "privacy interests" of FBI agents who don't want to answer questions about their investigations.
As Solomon says,
To hear the FBI tell it, the release of former Deputy Assistant Secretary Kathleen Kavalec’s documents is tantamount to giving up the keys to President Trump’s nuclear briefcase, aiding the enemy or assisting terrorists.
The real problem, of course, is that Kavalec's documents (and she has in recent weeks begun cooperating with DoJ investigators) shine a glaring and very unwelcome light on the FBI's criminal conduct in the Russia Hoax. As Solomon is quick to point out, the weakness in the FBI's argument is that:
The Russia collusion narrative has been thoroughly and conclusively debunked--including by Team Mueller; therefore
Releasing information to the public from the fictional documents that Steele previously provided to
1. The Clinton campaign (through Fusion GPS),
2. The DNC,
3. The media (journalists such as David Corn, and outlets that including the WaPo and NYT)
can hardly be equated with divulging secrets as sensitive as the FBI describes.
And to show how absurd the FBI's claims are, as well as what they want to hide, Solomon provides examples of documents that his sources have seen and, helpfully, described to him. One of those documents is a memo that, on Steele's recommendation, Kavalec downloaded from a commercial internet download service. Right. So much for sensitive sources and methods and jeopardizing our relations with foreign powers! And what was in that memo?
The document, according to my sources who have seen it, lays out a theory that Steele and some liberals spread late in the 2016 campaign that unusual computer pings between a Trump Tower server and Alfa Bank in Russia might be a secret communication channel by which Trump and Vladimir Putin were hijacking the election.
The theory has been written about in the media. Kavalec downloaded the file from Steele via a commercial internet download service and transmitted it to [then-FBI section chief Steven] Laycock on non-classified email.
But here's the kicker:
... the State Department included notations on Steele’s five pages of research strongly calling into question his Alfa Bank theories before sending it to the FBI. In other words, they challenged the veracity and quality of Steele’s intelligence.
Under the FBI’s human source rules, a U.S. government’s negative assessment of an informer’s information would constitute “derogatory information” that would have to be disclosed to the FISC if Steele’s work was being used to support a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant.
Eight days after Kavalec sent Laycock her annotated version of Steele’s Alfa Bank research, the FBI submitted to the FISC an application that won the agency permission to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The bureau did not include State’s assessment. Instead, agents declared they possessed no derogatory information about Steele.
Oh! Awkward, right? Rep. Mark Meadows has taken note of the FBI's ridiculous court filing and wrote to Attorney General William Barr last week to say that the memo was “based on open source media reporting” and that the FBI’s claim that revealing it would harm sources and methods is “completely unfounded.” And Solomon further notes:
Even the tight-lipped special counsel Robert Mueller went out of his way during testimony last week to say the Alfa Bank theory “is not true.”
So if Mueller could talk about it and the information was transmitted in a non-classified manner, why would the FBI go to such lengths to fight its release?
Good question! After all, these "shenanigans" happened under disgraced former FBI Director James Comey--so what's it to Wray? And yet, as Solomon notes:
Wray took over the FBI long after such misdeeds occurred. But for some reason, his team has fought relentlessly to keep information secret from Congress and the public about Team Comey’s Russia case.
Yeah, "for some reason." Maybe that reason has something to do with who Wray's political backers are.