FIRST ON FOX: FBI Director Christopher Wray is expected to defend the work of the FBI during testimony before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning, Fox News Digital has learned, amid allegations of politicization within the bureau.
Wray is set to appear before the committee, which has jurisdiction over the FBI and the Justice Department, Wednesday at 10 a.m. as part of an oversight hearing.
An FBI spokesperson told Fox News Digital that Wray is expected to focus his remarks on ‘the good work of the FBI to protect the American people and the professionalism, patriotism, and dedication to public service of FBI employees.’
He is also expected to discuss the ‘sheer breadth and impact’ of the work the bureau’s more than 38,000 employees do each day, because ‘the work the men and women of the FBI do to protect the American people goes way beyond the one or two investigations that seem to capture all the headlines.’
According to prepared testimony obtained by Fox News Digital, Wray will discuss what the FBI has done to take on violent crime – arresting more than 20,000 violent criminals and child predators, which he will say is ‘an average of almost 60 bad guys taken off the streets per day, every day.’
Wray is also expected to highlight ‘going after the cartels exploiting our southern border to traffic fentanyl and other dangerous drugs into communities nationwide.’
He will supposedly say that the FBI is running ‘well over 300 investigations targeting the leadership of those cartels,’ and working with partners to stop drugs from reaching ‘their intended destinations’ across the nation.
The prepared testimony also showed Wray will discuss the ‘thousands of active investigations’ the FBI has into the Chinese government’s efforts to ‘steal our most precious secrets, rob our businesses of their ideas and innovation, and repress freedom of speech right here in the United States.’
‘And that’s just scratching the surface; the men and women of the FBI work tirelessly every day to protect the American people from a staggering array of threats,’ Wray is expected to testify.
The bureau director is expected to face tough questioning from lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee as the FBI faces allegations of operating within a political bias.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has led a number of FBI-focused investigations since taking leadership of the committee after whistleblowers have come forward to allege politicization within the bureau and a political bias against conservatives.
Those whistleblowers have accused the FBI of targeting pro-life groups, Catholics, and parents attending school board meetings, alleging an internal effort to ‘inflate’ the domestic terrorism threat.
Jordan and Republican lawmakers are expected to press Wray on the alleged abuses and alleged retaliation against those whistleblowers. The FBI has denied the allegations.
Jordan has also said the FBI colluded with Big Tech social media companies ahead of the 2020 presidential election – specifically to limit and block social media posts related to Hunter Biden’s laptop.
The FBI had the laptop in its possession at the time and knew it contained ‘credible’ evidence as part of the Hunter Biden probe.
As for the Hunter Biden probe, lawmakers have been demanding answers from the FBI on what it did with information contained in a key FD-1023 form, alleging a criminal bribery scheme between then-Vice President Joe Biden and a foreign national.
The House Oversight Committee subpoenaed the FBI to turn over the document for Congress to review, but the FBI did not comply. Instead, the FBI made accommodations to bring a redacted version of the document to a secure setting on Capitol Hill for lawmakers on that committee to review. Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., threatened to hold Wray in contempt of Congress for not complying with the subpoena.
The document in question details allegations made by a top executive of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings to a ‘highly-credible’ FBI confidential human source. The executive alleged that he paid $5 million to Joe Biden and $5 million to Hunter Biden in exchange for influence over policy decisions.
The executive also alleges that he has 17 audio recordings of conversations he had with Hunter Biden and Joe Biden, which he kept as somewhat of an ‘insurance policy.’
Federal prosecutors and agents on the team investigating Hunter Biden were briefed on that FBI form, but lawmakers in both the House and Senate are questioning if the FBI ever investigated the claims.
An FBI official, though, told Fox News Digital that ‘many of the issues this committee is focused on are centered around prosecutorial decisions, which are not made by the FBI but, rather, the Department of Justice.’
Most recently, Jordan has joined forces with the House Oversight and Ways & Means committees to demand testimony from officials involved in the years-long federal investigation into Hunter Biden.
Jordan has called on key FBI and DOJ officials to appear before the House Judiciary Committee for transcribed interviews related to that investigation, which whistleblowers have said was influenced by politics. Those interviews have yet to be scheduled.
Meanwhile, during the hearing, Jordan and Republicans are expected to highlight Special Counsel John Durham’s findings following his years-long investigation into the origins of the FBI’s original Trump-Russia probe, also known as ‘Crossfire Hurricane.’ That report revealed the investigation into the Trump campaign and former President Trump was unwarranted, and detailed many of the FBI’s errors when launching that counterintelligence probe.
Wray and current top officials at the FBI have stressed that the Trump-Russia investigation was launched under the leadership of then-FBI Director James Comey. The FBI has also said the conduct Durham examined ‘was the reason’ Wray and current leadership have ‘already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time.’
‘Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented,’ the FBI told Fox News Digital, adding that the Durham report ‘reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.’
But a committee aide said GOP lawmakers haven’t been satisfied with the FBI’s response and are expected to press Wray to make further reforms within the bureau.
Jordan and GOP lawmakers are also expected to press Wray on the FBI’s decision to conduct an unprecedented search for classified records at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home on Aug. 8, 2022.
Special Counsel Jack Smith took over the FBI and DOJ’s investigation into Trump’s alleged improper retention of classified records. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 37 federal charges stemming from the probe, including willful retention of national defense information, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and false statements – the first time in U.S. history a former president has faced federal criminal charges.
Because the special counsel runs the Trump-classified records probe, Wray is likely to defer all questions to Smith’s office.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are expected to grill Wray on the agency’s confidential human source program, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act—specifically Section 702, which is expected to sunset in December, and other issues.