Earlier today Bill Barr gave an interview to Fox News on the sidelines of a law enforcement event in Chicago. The U.S. Attorney General discussed the ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham, and gave high praise to FBI Director Christopher Wray for his “outstanding support” therein. [Link to Fox Interview] Excerpt Video:
(Via Fox) […] The attorney general said that while he’s assisting in connecting Durham with countries that could have valuable information, Durham is running the show.
“He is in charge of the investigation, I’m not doing the investigation,” Barr said, while describing Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, as “thorough and fair” and saying he’s making progress.
Further, Barr took an implicit swipe at Comey as he maintained current FBI Director Christopher Wray is cooperating.
“I do want to say that one of the reasons Mr. Durham is able to make the kind of progress he’s making is because Director Wray and his team at the FBI have just been outstanding in support and responsiveness given to Mr. Durham,” Barr said.
“As you know, I’ve said previously that I felt there was a failure of leadership at the bureau in 2016 and part of 2017, but since Director Wray and his team have taken over there’s been a world of change. I think that he is restoring the steady professionalism that’s been a hallmark of the FBI. I really appreciate his leadership there.” (read more)
This interview, and particularly the Barr perspective on FBI Director Wray, is challenging to reconcile against the historic behavior of the FBI under Wray’s tenure. In order to reconcile Barr’s characterization of Chris Wray, those who follow the issues closely would have to ignore or suspend all disbelief in Director Wray’s conduct.
Here at CTH we accept the behavior, actions and statements by federal officials as they are, and not as we would wish them to be. There is no action in evidence that would support Barr’s characterization of Wray; so it leaves the audience having to take a leap of faith that suddenly, in the past three months, Wray had some ‘come-to-Jesus’ moment.
Given the documented history of the FBI blocking transparency during Wray’s tenure at the helm of the FBI that’s simply a leap of faith we are unwilling to take.
Either Bill Barr is covering for Wray, just like he has done in the past for Rosenstein, with a goal of institutional preservation as his compass heading (Bondo Barr); or Bill Barr has some -as yet- unknown motive for presenting an alternate reality.
It’s up to you to make up your own mind.
In 2018 Christopher Wray undermined the Nunes memo and refused to present FBI documents for congressional review. Chairman Nunes, HPSCI; Chairman Goodlatte, House Judiciary; and Chairman Grassley, Senate Judiciary; each had requests for document production blocked by FBI Director Wray.
As a result of those roadblocks a list of declassification requests was presented to President Trump by congress. *AFTER* the 2018 mid-term election the bucket list for those still outstanding classified documents was handed to AG Bill Barr.
Barr was granted unilateral declassification authority in May 2019.
Not a single document has been declassified and released from that original list, by the DOJ or FBI; including the authorizing scope memos that were used in the Mueller investigation which concluded in March 2019 and still remain hidden today. Those scope memos have no investigative value to the IG report on FISA abuse.
The only documents released to the public have come from a FOIA lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch to attain the Bruce Ohr 302’s, ordered to be released by a DC court, and the Comey memos which were released by the IG as part of the evidence underlying the IG report on James Comey activity.
No documents have been declassified by AG Bill Barr; and to this day the FBI still refuses (Flynn case) to unredact the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages.
It defies credulity for Barr to say Director Wray has been of “outstanding support” while simultaneously the same FBI under Director Wrays’ authority has been the primary blocking mechanism for exculpatory evidence within the Michael Flynn case.
Those who choose to believe in the characterization of AG Bill Barr for Director Wray, have to choose to suspend all prior knowledge of the mountain of evidence that supports an entirely different characterization.
This suspension of disbelief is beyond my personal capability. However, in the strongest of possible terms – I hope I’m wrong. By disposition I accept the statements and actions of government officials as they are, not as I wish them to be.
Perhaps FBI Director Christopher Wray has, in the last 4 months, had a come-to-Jesus moment. However, that outlook would require me to possess a trusty-plan disposition.
Unfortunately, I lost that ability in August 2018 when the DOJ and FBI covered-up the demonstrably proven James Wolfe leak of classified information.
Lastly, to underline the Wray issues, and simultaneously provide evidence that is only tangentially connected to the current matters at hand…. it is worth remembering Christopher Wray in the ridiculous framework of the pre-midterm-election Cesar Sayoc case.
You might remember: FBI Director Christopher Wray outlined during his remarks that the Sayoc devices consisted of PVC pipe, clocks, batteries, wiring and “energetic material that can become combustible when subjected to heat or friction”.
The FBI director went out of his way to state: “these were not hoax devices.” The DOJ then moved to seal all court filings, and the case against the nut continued behind the curtain of ‘national fucking security’.