FBI Director Christopher Wray
FBI Director Christopher Wray does not have an easy job. Sure, he’s gone along with Trump’s purge of everyone who ever cracked a Trump joke—including cutting off former acting Director Andrew McCabe just hours before his pension kicked in—but Wray has also shown signs of actually caring about the work done by the bureau. And that’s not a good fit for the Trump White House.
Just how bad that fit really is became obvious this week when, in just a couple of minutes’ worth of television interview, Donald Trump completely exploded the program to deflect foreign interference from U.S. elections, a program Wray had been working almost two years to implement. As Politico reports, Trump’s quick admission that he would have no problem taking information about a political opponent, and that mentioning this fact to the FBI was something Trump considered optional, has undone months of work, invited foreign spies to meddle in 2020, and “demoralized the agents trying to stop them.”
It’s also put Wray in a box with just three exits: do nothing and let the program fall apart; publicly disagree with Trump and risk being fired; or abandon the pretext that it’s possible to work for both Trump and the law and simply resign.
Throughout the last two years—and throughout his life—Trump has called parts of the law “unfair” and treated them with disdain. That’s especially true of laws like those against discrimination in housing, or those that mandate safety regulations for buildings or fair labor practices, or those that require that people pay taxes. Basically, anything that affects Trump’s bottom line or takes a minute of his time is suspect. In just the past week, Trump hasn’t just declared that he has no problem accepting a thing of value from a foreign government if it helps him remain in power; he’s also made it clear that has no intention of enforcing the Hatch Act or cooperating with congressional oversight.
Laws are for other people. Little people. Robert Mueller’s investigators may have declared that they didn’t have sufficient evidence to “charge a broad conspiracy” with Russia in 2016. Trump is making it clear that it doesn’t take a broad conspiracy, because his door is always open to direct influence. What will Christopher Wray do now?