WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI Director Chris Wray rejected a broad complaint from Republicans at a Congressional hearing on Wednesday, ranging from the bureau’s handling of the Hunter Biden investigation to claims that social media agencies advocate censoring conservative viewpoints.
Ray first appeared before a Republican-led US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee panel after former President Donald Trump was accused of possessing highly labeled files and obstruction of justice.
His look also shows for the first time that he has testified noting that President Joe Biden’s son Hunter has been criminally charged in rape tax cases, even avoiding the price of a prison gun through a pre-trial diversion agreement with prosecutors.
Republicans have repeatedly accused the FBI and various federal corporations of “arming” their law enforcement and regulatory powers to silence critics, target political enemies and protect political allies.
House Republicans have claimed without evidence that the case against Trump is politically motivated.
He has also pointed to the testimony of the IRS whistleblower as evidence that the department interfered with the Hunter Biden investigation — a claim that both Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. attorney appointed by Trump in charge of the investigation have denied.
“Are you protecting the Bidens?” asked Republican Representative Matt Getz.
“Not at all,” replied Ray, a fellow Republican, who is increasingly becoming the target of Republican anger.
After a Trump-appointed federal judge in Louisiana last week favored the standard of Republican lawyers from Louisiana and Missouri and blocked the FBI and other federal agencies, several Republican lawmakers also questioned Ray about whether the bureau pressures social media businesses to silence conservative views. Communicating with social media companies about moderating content on their platforms.
U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty’s July 4 ruling found that Republican states could succeed in their lawsuit to prove that the Biden administration “used its power to silence” all opposing online critics of the 2020 election result. For COVID-19 vaccines.
Ray strongly disagreed with the judge’s decision on Wednesday, saying the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s focus is only on preventing foreign malign influence — not fair speech.
The Justice Department has asked the federal appeals court to halt the lower court’s decision pending an appeal.
“Given my personal history, the idea that I am biased towards conservatives seems extremely crazy to me. “