FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a press conference at the Justice Department on Oct. 7.

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks during a press conference at the Justice Department on Oct. 7. Jim Watson via AP

FBI Association Says Director Wray Should Not Be Replaced Until His Term Is Up

The group that represents active and retired special agents sent letters to President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden making the case for continuity after the presidential election. 

An association of current and former FBI special agents asserted on Wednesday that FBI Director Christopher Wray should be able to serve out his full term, regardless of who wins the presidential election. 

The FBI Agents Association, which represents over 14,000 active and retired special agents, sent letters six days before the election to President Trump and Democratic nominee former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump tapped Wray to be FBI director in June 2017––a month after he fired then-director James Comey––and Wray was confirmed in August 2017. 

This letter comes after multiple reports that Trump is considering firing Wray, among others, if he is reelected. The president has taken aim at Wray over assessing Russia is still attempting to interfere in U.S. elections, not doing more to investigate voter fraud ahead of the election, and supporting the Justice Department inspector general’s finding that the FBI’s probe of possible ties between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia was opened fairly. 

“Director Wray is an asset to the bureau and a trusted leader of agents in the field,” wrote Brian O’Hare, association president, in each of the letters. “This country needs stability in leadership of the bureau during these challenging times, and creating upheavals at the bureau after the elections can only undermine the goal of protecting the safety and security of our country.”

O’Hare also said that Wray works in a nonpartisan manner, so “politics should not determine his fate as director.”

FBI directors have 10-year terms and presidents have removed them only twice midway through the terms. In addition to Comey, President Clinton fired FBI Director William Sessions in July 1993 following a Justice Department report on ethics violations by Sessions. 

The association also noted in the letters that in July 2011, Congress and President Obama extended then-FBI Director Robert Mueller’s tenure by two years for continuity of national security in wake of the U.S. forces killing Osama bin Laden and while leadership was changing at other agencies. “Right now, the FBI is confronting an even more daunting threat environment than in 2011—with threats from both domestic and foreign terrorists, espionage, cyber-attacks, and traditional crimes,” O’Hare wrote. Therefore, it is imperative that Wray remain as director, the letter stated. 

Over 90% of active duty FBI special agents are members of the FBI Agents Association, which is the only organization that represents active agents. 

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