National Security

Biden plans to keep Wray as FBI director: report

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President-elect Joe Biden reportedly plans to keep Christopher Wray as his FBI chief if Wray is still in the top post by the time the Biden administration begins.

A senior Biden official told The New York Times that Biden’s team was “not removing the F.B.I. director unless Trump fired him.”

Such a decision by Biden would be a return to the norm practiced by previous administrations. Generally, FBI directors, who are Senate-confirmed, are able to serve their full 10-year terms. Security experts have argued that doing so helps to create a sense of stability in the intelligence community.

Trump shattered the practice when he took office and moved to fire FBI Director James Comey amid the ongoing federal investigation into Russian election interference and potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, a move that sparked the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. 

Comey was appointed by Trump’s predecessor, former President Obama. Trump then hand-picked Wray, a Republican who previously served in the George W. Bush administration, to replace Comey.

But Trump, who demands loyalty, quickly became frustrated with Wray, who sought to avoid wading into partisan matters. 

Trump and his allies have become increasingly frustrated that Wray would not meet the president’s calls for the launch of a formal investigation to examine the business dealings of Biden’s son Hunter Biden, and at his resistance to firing officials tied to the 2016 Russia probe that Trump has alleged have acted improperly.

Some House Democrats have previously indicated that they are open to the idea of Wray staying in his post when Biden takes office, and they have urged Trump not to fire additional officials before his departure in January. 

Still, Trump has entertained the idea, according to reports.

After losing the election in November, Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper after also souring on him. Wray was considered to be on the chopping block as well, but has so far kept his job.

A spokesman for Joe Biden did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment about such plans to keep Wray onboard.

Tags Barack Obama Christopher Wray FBI FBI director James Comey Joe Biden Mark Esper Robert Mueller

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