The FBI is the investigator and almost never the investigated. That, however, changed dramatically when Republicans took control of the House in January and began fulfilling promises to probe the nation’s top law enforcement agency.
The August raid on former President Donald Trump’s Florida home by federal agents shifted the narrative around the bureau. Now conservatives saw the agency as being “weaponized” against the White House’s enemies.
It was just a few days later that FBI Director Christopher Wray felt the need to email his department and urge them to block out the deafening sounds coming from critics.
That noise got even louder when it was revealed that President Joe Biden was apparently guilty of the same infraction that resulted in Trump’s residence being raided. Word came of collusion with social media platforms to suppress explosive stories that might harm Democrats at the ballot box.
Congressional Republicans regularly assert that the power of the federal government, including the FBI, is being used against conservatives. The House is currently investigating such “weaponization.”
And the scrutiny of Jan. 6 continues.
Wray was interviewed recently by the Associated Press, and the embattled director downplayed the controversy swirling around the agency. “I look not just at the one or two investigations being discussed breathlessly on social media or cable news,” he said.
Rather, Wray pointed to the “impact we’re having across the country to protect the American people.”
But that does not deflect from multiple whistleblower complaints lodged by FBI insiders against the bureau’s alleged targeting of conservative voices and platforms. Among the leading critics is Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), who said he supports FBI agents but has misgivings about its leadership.
The AP reported that roughly two dozen current and former FBI officials were interviewed for the story, most anonymously. Many expressed concern that the agency has become embroiled in political controversy and blamed some of its own actions for the situation.
One complaint centered on last year’s FBI memo directing agents to probe parents protesting at school board meetings. Some of those interviewed believed that it was a misstep that welcomed criticism and placed the bureau squarely in a political firestorm.