Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Republicans Grill Wray

Yesterday, FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Donald Trump appointee, was on the hot seat in the House, as Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) battled with him. Jordan accused the FBI of targeting right-wing leaders and activists, school boards, and many other groups and organizations dear to his heart. He also accused Wray of not targeting Hunter Biden, who Jordan sees as one of the greatest criminals in American history. Every time Wray attempted to answer Jordan's questions, Jordan or one of the other Republicans interrupted him so he couldn't answer.

To the extent he was able to say anything, Wray, who is a registered Republican, rejected accusations that the Bureau was protecting Hunter Biden or Joe Biden or that it had targeted Trump. He also said that the 38,000 men and women working for the Bureau arrested over 20,000 violent criminals and child predators last year. Mostly he kept his cool under incoming fire, but got annoyed when Jordan suggested Congress would slash the Bureau's budget. He said it "would hurt American people, neighborhoods, and communities all across the country." If he had been a bit quicker on his feet, he could have said: "Oh, I see you are now in bed with Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), looking to defund the police. I didn't know that." Then he could have watched Jordan's head explode.

Defunding the FBI would never make it past the Senate, but one thing Jordan might be able to do is block the FBI's new headquarters, which the Bureau says it badly needs. Maryland and Virginia are both angling for the honor.

When he got his turn to speak, ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) defended Wray, thus reversing the historical roles of the parties. For decades, Republicans were the party of law and order and defended all law enforcement agencies through thick and thin. Democrats were more inclined to point to police brutality than defend them. Now it is all upside down because Republicans are the perps law enforcement is investigating. Nadler also called Jordan's behavior "little more than performance art." It is very unlikely that any bills that Jordan produces as a result of this hearing will pass Congress. In fact, it is even unlikely any Jordan bills will pass the House. The 18 Republicans in Biden districts don't want to have to answer the question on the campaign trail: "Why do you hate the police?" They don't want to vote on any bill Jordan might cook up; they will tell Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) this in advance and warn him not to bring up any such bills because the votes aren't there. (V)

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