FBI agents urge Biden and Trump not to fire Christopher Wray

By Kyle Cheney
·2 min read

An organization representing thousands of current and former FBI agents is urging President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, former vice president Joe Biden, to commit to retaining FBI Director Christopher Wray until his 10-year term expires.

“FBI Special Agents respect Director Wray’s leadership and look forward to continuing to work with him to protect this great country from national security and criminal threats,” said Brian O’Hare, president of the FBI Agents Association, in a statement and letters to both Trump and Biden.

The vote of confidence in Wray comes as he appears to be on increasingly tenuous footing under Trump, who has publicly assailed him for declining to investigate the president’s political adversaries and for undercutting Trump’s political narratives about foreign election interference and left-wing violence.

In recent days, sources close to Trump have fueled stories suggesting Trump is preparing to fire Wray after the election, and may remove other members of his national security team who he has criticized for similar reasons.

Biden, on the other hand, has given no indication about whether he would seek to retain Wray, whose term would expire in 2027. Spokespeople for the Biden campaign and transition did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But Democrats, as well as many Republicans, on Capitol Hill have largely endorsed Wray as a straight-shooting, apolitical and effective leader of the FBI at a tumultuous time for the bureau.

O’Hare argued that keeping Wray on would help insulate the FBI director from politics — the reason a 10-year term exists in the first place.

“While the president can remove an FBI director, doing so could lead to instability and damage to the bureau’s operations, which is why Congress intended to insulate the position of director from political whims,” O’Hare said. Wray was confirmed in July 2017, leaving more than six years in his term.

The association raised particular concerns about the potential removal of Wray in a post-election environment that could be marked by an uptick in domestic and foreign threats, from cyberattacks to influence campaigns meant to destabilize the country.

Trump has underscored his increasing displeasure with Wray for more than a year, bristling at his suggestion last year any attempt by a foreign power to assist a presidential campaign should be reported to the FBI.

In recent weeks, Trump has sharply contradicted Wray’s congressional testimony that there is no evidence of large-scale voter fraud, that Russians are interfering in the election to damage Biden and for suggesting that antifa is more of an “ideology” than an organized movement.

“I look at them as a bunch of well funded ANARCHISTS & THUGS who are protected because the Comey/Mueller inspired FBI is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with “murder,” Trump tweeted last month in response to Wray’s comments.