A report shows that almost every Republican who has run for president has promised to change the FBI’s leadership, overhaul the agency, or perhaps do away with it altogether.
Of the leading Republican candidates, only one has declared he would not remove FBI Director Christopher Wray outright: former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
In their promise to reform the agency, politicians and businesspeople, including former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, ex-United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, as well as entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, have all pledged to fire the director.
Christie’s stance on the FBI differs from Biden’s, saying he does not feel that the bureau has been militarized and would not remove Wray. Christie was the one who suggested Wray for the position under Trump.
A report shows that during his time as a lawyer at King & Spalding that spanned from 2005 to 2016, current FBI Director Christopher Wray defended Christie in a case involving his alleged role in politically driven road closures of the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey in September 2013.
Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie’s deputy chief of staff, along with Port Authority executives Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, were all indicted by the federal government for their roles in planning the lane closures. Despite Kelly’s and Baroni’s testimony suggesting otherwise, Christie has refuted any participation in the plot.
The mayor of Democratic Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, had declined to back Christie’s successful re-election campaign. Therefore, this action seemed to be vengeance against him.
The report shows Wray, who represented the ex-governor of New Jersey during the “Bridgegate” incident, may have had access to crucial, unseen material. During the 2016 trial, the lawyers for the aides claimed that the governor’s mobile phone had incriminating text messages that had not been made public.
During the first hearing on Bridgegate, Christie reportedly communicated with his chief of staff, as shown by cellphone data given two years prior to the New Jersey legislature.
Despite threatening Wray and the governor’s other attorneys with subpoenas, a federal judge in Newark stopped the defense from obtaining the cell phone.