Politicized attacks on the FBI’s integrity “erode respect” and put agents at risk, the agency’s director said on Thursday, hours after an armed man was shot and killed by federal agents in Cincinnati, Ohio.
“Unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI erode respect for the rule of law and are a grave disservice to the men and women who sacrifice so much to protect others,” Christopher Wray said in an Aug. 11 statement, adding that threatening or inciting violence against police—including the FBI—is “dangerous and should be deeply concerning” for every American.
Wray, who was appointed as the agency’s director in 2017, did not directly link his latest statement to Thursday’s incident, when an armed suspect attempted to breach the visitor screening facility at the FBI’s Cincinnati branch before fleeing the scene following federal agents’ response to the event.
“Every day I see the men and women of the FBI doing their jobs professionally and with rigor, objectivity, and a fierce commitment to our mission of protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution,” Wray said, noting that he’s “proud to serve” the agency alongside federal agents.
It was the second time in two days for the Trump-appointed director to publicly condemn threats and harsh rhetoric directed at law enforcement officers.
The FBI has been facing mounting anger and frustration over its failure to be transparent in the wake of the agency’s Aug. 8 raid on former President Donald Trump’s private Florida residence, with threats allegedly circulating online against the bureau and officials related to the incident.
So far, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI have remained mostly quiet about the purpose and probable cause behind the “search” and have repeatedly declined to publicly comment to The Epoch Times and other news outlets. Only alleged anonymous sources within the FBI and DOJ have sporadically provided details about the incident to legacy media since Aug. 8.
On Aug. 11, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland echoed a similar perspective as Wray after revealing he personally approved the FBI’s raid on Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago residence.
“I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” Garland said of the FBI, calling the men and women of the agency “dedicated, patriotic public servants.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the vice chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, also pushed back against Americans questioning the integrity of the FBI following the agency’s unannounced raid.
“I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents involved with the recent Mar-a-Lago search,” the Republican lawmaker claimed in a statement on Twitter. “These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk.”
In Wray’s first public comment, the director said violence against law enforcement is not the answer, “no matter what anybody’s upset about or who they’re upset with,” calling alleged threats directed at the bureau “deplorable and dangerous.”
The White House stated President Joe Biden wasn’t aware of the raid before it was announced by Trump earlier this week. Trump and Republicans accused the FBI and the Biden administration of weaponizing federal law enforcement to target their political opponents ahead of the midterm elections.