Op-ed by Elad Hakim | Photo: Alamy
This week’s hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray was a perfect example of why many Republican voters lack faith that Republicans will follow through with their promises to hold people accountable.
While Wray’s testimony was highly anticipated, the results were predictably disappointing because he refused and failed to answer many important questions. Congress must not allow him to skate by with such evasive non-answers.
During the hearing, Wray was asked questions about a variety of issues involving the DOJ and FBI, including Jan. 6, suppression of speech, the Biden and Trump investigations, etc. In response, Wray wiggled out of providing substantive responses to the various questions.
Rather, he relied on several and predictable canned responses, including an alleged lack of knowledge, an inability to answer due to ongoing investigations, and/or a promise to provide answers or briefings later.
Wray’s testimony provided little to nothing of value. While Wray danced around the issues and failed to directly answer the questions, Republicans did little to force the issues.
For example, Wray would not provide a specific answer about whether Joe Biden was under investigation and did not answer questions about the investigations into President Donald Trump or Hunter Biden.
He would not comment when asked if Ray Epps would be arrested, refused to answer whether the FBI had agents, confidential human sources or assets embedded with the crowd on January 6, and rejected the notion that the FBI favored the Biden family.
He also denied the FBI engaged in censorship with social media companies (despite a recent court order to the contrary), stating, “The FBI is not in the business of moderating content or causing any social media company to suppress or censor.”
Wray’s testimony and his refusal to testify about various issues are unacceptable. Some of his testimony was clearly unbelievable. For example, his assertion regarding censorship appears to be directly contradicted by a recent 155-page court opinion and the Twitter Files.
If Wray was sitting for deposition and provided such canned, generic “non-answers,” lawyers would immediately move to compel him to provide better answers by way of motion and court order. Witnesses, especially the head of the FBI, should not be allowed to provide insufficient answers about information relating to the very agency they oversee.
Sadly, that is exactly what happened in Wray’s case.
While Wray was not being deposed, he still testified under oath. Since much of his testimony was either evasive or simply unbelievable, House Republicans (and Congress in general) must get tougher with how they handle Wray.
As reported by the Daily Caller, Fox News legal analyst Jonathan Turley recently stated, “…Congress has to make a decision here. You know, they just went through an entire hearing where they were given nothing. He was far more detailed when Eric Swalwell asked him about the FBI family day.”
Turley is exactly right. Toward that end, House Republicans must impeach Wray and they should also impeach Attorney General Merrick Garland. They should also investigate whether any of the testimony he provided under oath was knowingly false. By refusing to answer questions and providing evasive or unbelievable responses under oath, Wray disrespected the committee, Congress, and the American people.
Congress must not allow him to skate by with such evasive non-answers.
Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice.