FBI director Christopher Wray testifies during a hearing about ‘worldwide threats to the homeland’ in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 17, 2020.
Chris Wray told Rep. Adam Schiff that he would resign before doing “something that wasn’t right.”
Schiff writes in his memoir that Wray made this assurance during one of their first meetings.
“I don’t need this job,” Wray told Schiff, according to Schiff’s account in “Midnight in Washington.”
Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, told Rep. Adam Schiff that he would resign from his post under then-President Donald Trump before doing “something that wasn’t right,” Schiff writes in his new memoir, “Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.”
“In one of our first meetings, I had warned him about how many good people the president had chewed up and spat out,” Schiff writes.
“I don’t need this job,” Wray told Schiff, according to Schiff’s account. “And I would leave it before I ever felt the need to do something that wasn’t right.”
Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Select Committee on Intelligence, is complimentary of Wray, describing him as “one of the few remaining agency heads appointed by Trump who was still willing to speak truth to power” under the last administration. Schiff’s meeting with Wray likely occured shortly after Trump appointed Wray to lead the FBI in June 2017.
The California congressman writes that he “admired” how Wray “defended the men and women of the bureau, answered questions in a straightforward manner, and never dissembled.”
“He didn’t go out of his way to contradict the president, but he nonetheless maintained a high level of integrity,” Schiff added of Wray.
Trump appointed Wray just months into his presidency after firing former FBI director James Comey. Wray previously worked in private practice and as an assistant attorney general leading the criminal division of the Department of Justice under former President George W. Bush. Wray has served as FBI director since August 2017.
Trump publicly criticized Wray on several occasions, including when he said in 2019 that the director was “wrong” to request that public officials and members of political campaigns should inform the FBI if they’re contacted by a foreign country – or someone acting on behalf of a foreign nation – about efforts to interfere in a US election. Trump insisted in 2019 that he wouldn’t necessarily tell the FBI if foreign governments offered information about his political opponents.
Last year, Trump publicly mused about firing Wray after the FBI director said the agency hadn’t found any evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election, which Trump still falsely claims he won.