03/08/2023 By Mackenzie Bruno
The FBI faces attacks and criticism after months of politically controversial investigations involving classified documents.
FBI Director Christopher Wray sent an email to his workforce in August encouraging them not to listen to distracting comments saying those who are criticizing “don’t know what we know and don’t see what we see.” These remarks resulted from the FBI’s involvement in many politically sensitive investigations over the past year. The email was sent after federal agents searched former President Donald Trump’s Florida home for classified documents.
Since then, classified documents have been found in President Biden’s private office and former Vice President Mike Pence’s home through FBI investigations. Criticism surrounds the nature of the investigations and the timing ahead of the 2024 presidential election. However, in the Aug. 11 email sent by Wray, he stated that “we don’t cut corners. We don’t play favorites.” Wray felt that a message needed to be sent to his staff as verbal attacks on the FBI for their work would only grow in the coming months.
Much of the verbal judgment towards the FBI is happening on social media and TV networks. The new House majority Republicans are using their power to investigate the FBI for unfairly targeting Trump to suppress his free speech. Criticism of the FBI is nothing new for FBI Director Christopher Wray. He suggested that he has been dealing with verbal attacks ever since he was appointed in 2017 by President Trump after former director James Comey was fired drastically.
Despite all of this, Wray’s mindset in tackling these politically critical investigations has never wavered. “We’re not well-served by wading into the fray, taking the bait, and responding to every breathless allegation,” Wray told the Associated Press. Although the attacks are coming from all ends of the political spectrum, the public must take the perception of the FBI’s investigations seriously. No matter if they find Biden, Trump, or Pence guilty of hoarding classified documents, the FBI needs to convince the public that the investigation was done for good reason and not seen as being done to be put in the political spotlight.
While the FBI has made numerous mistakes in the past, such as leaked field office memos and false claims about the Department of Justice in the Trump-Russia collusion case, they take action for reform in the future. “We take those to heart each and every day,” said FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate. Extremists have even attacked FBI field offices because of the Trump Mar-a-Largo search. The FBI will continue to urge the public that they are not conducting investigations to be in the limelight or win over a political majority.