House Republicans finally had their chance to interrogate Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray and while most of them attacked him for allegedly weaponizing the agency, one GOP lawmaker took a friendlier approach.
Representative Ken Buck, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, offered a rare thank you to Wray during Wednesday’s hearing, reminding his colleagues that the FBI director was both nominated to the post by former Republican presidents and expressing his support for the bureau’s work.
His comments came in stark contrast to those of his Republican colleagues, who used their time to grill Wray about his “politicization” of the FBI, pressing him about the bureau’s investigation into former President Donald Trump and the Biden family, its response to the January 6 Capitol riot and its alleged role in censoring speech online.
Over the last year, Republicans have loudly criticized the FBI and vowed to make investigating the agency a priority under a GOP-led House. House Republicans have already threatened to start contempt proceedings against Wray and have made him the focal point of the House Judiciary Committee’s work.
On Wednesday, Buck asked Wray to confirm that he was first appointed to the position of assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s criminal division by former President George W. Bush and confirmed by a Republican Senate. The Colorado Republican then reminded those at the hearing that it was former President Donald Trump who nominated Wray to lead the FBI, with the approval of another Republican Senate.
“I think there were only five votes against me, and they were all from Democrats,” Wray answered.
When Trump announced he was nominated Wray over Twitter in 2017, he called Wray “a man of impeccable credentials.”
“According to Wikipedia, you are still a registered Republican, and I hope you don’t change your party affiliation after this hearing is over,” Buck told Wray.
Wray himself told Republicans on the Judiciary panel that it was “insane” to say he acted in bias against the GOP given his “personal background.”
Later on, Buck also thanked Wray for his leadership and applauded the FBI for protecting Americans from foreign terrorists, public corruption, organized crime, drug cartels and human traffickers.
“I want to thank you and the FBI for protecting law-abiding Americans from the evil that exists all around us,” Buck said to the FBI director.
Bucks’ team declined to comment to Newsweek further, opting for letting the congressman’s comments during the hearing speak for themselves.
In comparison, Buck’s GOP colleagues did not hold back in criticizing Wray, telling him that FBI agents “deserve better” than him and shouting at him for running a “tyrannical” law enforcement agency.
At one point, Representative Matt Gaetz slammed the director for presiding over “the FBI that has the lowest level of trust in the FBI’s history.”
Newsweek reached out to Wray and Gaetz via email for comment.
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