With Ron DeSantis officially in the 2024 race comes real questions about how he’ll handle some of the more contentious issues facing any possible Republican president. Chief among them is what he’d do to combat the administrative overreach being practiced by the bureaucracy, with the behavior of the FBI being front and center in that discussion.
For example, on Wednesday, Rep. James Comer revealed that current FBI Director Christopher Wray has ignored a subpoena for an unclassified FD-1023 form. That form allegedly provides evidence of a bribery scheme involving Joe Biden while he was vice president. Instead of cooperating with Congress, the FBI is once again acting as the president’s personal protection force.
On the front, DeSantis wasted no time and pulled no punches. When asked by Trey Gowdy on Fox News following his kickoff with Elon Musk, the Florida man said he would fire Wray on day one. That clocks in as the most definitive pledge by any candidate so far in how they’ll deal with the controversial FBI director.
DESANTIS: "No, I would not keep Chris Wray as director of the FBI. There would be a new one on Day One." pic.twitter.com/vxGPUS8lgi
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 (@DeSantisWarRoom) May 25, 2023
I’m sure that answer surprised Gowdy, as he is the type that has defended Wray as a misunderstood soul. How anyone could still believe that after everything that has happened, especially since Biden took office, is beyond me, though. Wray is as obstructionist and corrupt as James Comey was. He’s just more diplomatic about it.
Under Wray’s leadership, the FBI has targeted pro-lifers, targeted Catholics, ignored and obstructed investigations into the Biden Family, made false statements about left-wing radicalism, and misused surveillance provisions (again) to illegally spy on Americans. That is not an exhaustive list, but I’d be here all day if I kept going.
It’s simply a no-brainer to fire Wray with prejudice the moment any Republican takes off, which is why it’s so perplexing that other candidates haven’t taken that stand. The closest has been Vivek Ramaswamy, who said he’d shut down the FBI. I’d like to hear how he actually plans to accomplish that, but I’d assume it would require firing Wray even if Ramaswamy hasn’t said that. As to the other third-tier candidates in Nikki Haley, Asa Hutchinson, and Tim Scott, they are obviously not the type to say anything negative about Wray.
Meanwhile, in his most recent commentary on the issue, Donald Trump took the most non-committal position possible, blaming Chris Christie for Wray’s nomination while saying “time will tell” on whether it was a mistake to put him in as FBI director. To be frank, as I documented above, time has already told the story several times over.
In an interview with Hannity last night, Trump defended his decision to make Christopher Wray FBI director and said he chose him at the behest of Democrats and Chris Christie: "I put Chris Wray in because I wanted to have somebody in there that everybody including the other side… pic.twitter.com/J5tE34zL6P
— Pedro L. Gonzalez (@emeriticus) March 28, 2023
TRUMP: I put Chris Wray in because I wanted to have somebody in there that everybody including the other side really wanted. It may not have been the right move. Let’s see, time will tell, okay? But I wanted to have somebody in the FBI, because I’m an honorable guy, I’m an honest guy. I may have made a mistake. But I put somebody in that the other side–everybody agreed to. You know who recommended him to me? Chris Christie. Okay? He recommended him. And that’s okay. I don’t mind that. I’ve taken Chris Christie’s recommendations before. And other people wanted Christopher Wray, and people from the other side wanted Christopher Wray.
The question isn’t who recommended Wray. It’s not even who supported Wray five years ago when he was elevated to lead the FBI (with Trump obviously being chief among them). The question is what all of the 2024 candidates are willing to do about it now. Trump doesn’t want to admit he made a mistake, but that’s not an excuse to continue beating around the bush on a figure as insidious as Wray. He needs to take a position and stick to it because the stakes are too high.
Hopefully, every candidate will follow DeSantis’ lead and vow to fire Wray on day one. I’d love to know that no matter who ends up as the nominee, such a serious issue will be dealt with.
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