Thursday 4 August 2022 07:43 PM FBI director Wray vows to protect whistleblowers after GOP alleges effort to ... trends now
FBI Director Christopher Wray promised whistleblowers would be protected under his watch during a Senate hearing on Thursday.
It comes after Republican lawmakers claimed to have heard from current and former bureau officials and Justice Department employees who accused the FBI of attempting to discredit probes into Hunter Biden in 2020.
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley, then its chairman, along with then-Senate Oversight Committee Chair Ron Johnson had launched an investigation into President Joe Biden's son after a leaked hard drive from Hunter Biden's laptop appeared to show signs of leveraging his father's position to further foreign business dealings.
Grassley wrote a letter to the FBI last month claiming to have heard 'highly credible' allegations from within the DOJ that the bureau coordinated to dismiss 'derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden' as disinformation.
Without going into specifics on the president's son's case, Grassley pressed Wray on Thursday on the need to shield whistleblowers from retaliatory measures.
'I think retaliatory conduct against whistleblowers is unacceptable. They serve a very, very important role in our system,' Wray said.
The Trump-appointed FBI chief did not answer directly when Grassley asked whether he'd commit to not seeking the whistleblowers' identities.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday
'We will be scrupulous in our adherence to the rules related to whistleblowers,' Wray said instead.
'Obviously, if there are allegations of misconduct by FBI employees, we want to make sure that- that we get that information, so that we can use the tools that we have to go after that conduct.'
He repeated, 'But certainly I condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any prospect of retaliation against whistleblowers.'
Again keeping his question vague, Grassley asked Wray if evidence of foreign actors making 'improper or unlawful financial payments' to US elected officials or 'politically exposed persons' would be a 'national security concern'