- Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer in George W. Bush’s administration, said FBI Director Chris Wray was “allowing himself to be humiliated” by President Donald Trump.
- Trump appointed Wray to lead the FBI after firing the former director James Comey in May.
- Since Wray took over, Trump and his allies have dramatically escalated their attacks on the bureau, some of its agents, and the Russia investigation at large.
A Bush administration ethics lawyer says the newly installed FBI director, Chris Wray, is not doing enough to counter President Donald Trump’s attacks on the bureau.
“FBI Director Chris Wray in allowing himself and the FBI to be humiliated by Trump and by political hacks in Congress,” Richard Painter said on Tuesday. “Wray needs to do his job and tell all of them to cut it out. If Wray can’t do that he should resign.”
Painter added later: “It’s time for Chris Wray to stand up or stand down.”
Those comments follow what has been a dramatic escalation in attacks on the FBI and the US Justice Department from Trump and some of his supporters in recent weeks.
The cohort has publicly questioned the political leanings of law-enforcement officials at the highest levels of government in what some observers have characterized as a manifestation of Trump’s fears about the federal Russia investigation, which is being led by the special counsel Robert Mueller. The latest example of that came Tuesday when a GOP congressman called for a “purge” at the FBI.
In the past 30 days alone, Trump has tweeted disparaging comments about the FBI 10 times, most recently on Sunday when he shared false information about the wife of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
Wray has not publicly commented on Trump’s latest attacks, but according to a December 4 report from The New York Times, Wray once sent an email to FBI employees saying, “We find ourselves under the microscope each and every day – and rightfully so. We do hard work for a living.” He urged employees to “continue to keep focused on our critical mission.”
“Keep calm and tackle hard,” Wray added.
Trump’s allies inside and outside the US government have parroted the president’s broadsides against the nation’s career law-enforcement officials. Intelligence leaders sounded off about that en masse last week.