FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, on the matters of the Russia investigation and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s emails, and in particular the ongoing battle over unfulfilled requests for documents.
When Rep. Ted Lieu (D-FL) had the opportunity to ask his questions, he brought up to Director Wray the question of a so-called “Deep State.”
After asserting that Republicans on the committee had misrepresented closed-door testimony from Peter Strzok, Rep. Lieu turned to the topic. He first cited President Trump, saying the President has used the phrase ‘deep state’ many times on Twitter, and then asked about it point blank.
“So I asked in another hearing, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, was there a deep state at the State Department,” Lieu recounted. “He [Pompeo] laughed and he basically said no, there was not. So Director Wray, I’m going to ask you. Is there a deep state at the FBI?”
Here is the FBI Director’s answer:
“Congressman, I’ve never completely understood the term ‘Deep state’, What I can tell you is that we have 37,000 men and women working in field offices all over the country and in … offices all over the world. They are people of character, of courage, of principle, of selflessness and of patriotism. And that’s the FBI that I see.”
The “deep state” is a frequent topic not just for the President, but among his supporters and friends, and is the idea that there are entrenched bureaucrats and government employees engaged in a concerted resistance effort to undermine or even overthrow his presidency.
Congressman Lieu concluded by telling Deputy Rosenstein not to cooperate with Congressional document requests, saying “do not produce documents” that will “jeopardize lives”, “threaten sources or methodS”, or “will affect an ongoing investigation.”
“Stand your ground,” he said.
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