In the spring of last year, then-Attorney General William Barr was at the White House for a meeting and was asked by an aide to former President Donald Trump what he thought about a former FBI official taking over as director of the nation’s top law enforcement agency.
Barr, Business Insider reports, was livid by the suggestion that FBI Director Chris Wray be replaced and he reportedly threatened to resign if Wray was shown the door:
“When told of the plotting — which also involved replacing then-Deputy FBI Director David Bowdich with the controversial Trump national security advisor Kash Patel — Barr threatened to resign in protest, according to the person briefed on the deliberations.”
Wray remains as chief of the FBI, and he and his agency are now the tip of the spear as federal prosecutors begin turning up the heat on Trump and many of his former associates:
“Under the new administration, DOJ is in the midst of politically-sensitive criminal investigations into Trump allies such as Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rudy Giuliani, addresses the rising threat of domestic terrorism, and reprioritizing police reform after a moribund four years inside its civil rights division.
“In the immediate aftermath of the Trump administration, the Justice Department and Wray’s FBI are also ramping up investigations into Giuliani’s Ukraine dealings during his time as the former president’s personal lawyer.”
Additionally, Wray’s personality fits better with current Attorney General Merrick Garland than it did with Barr, who was nicknamed “the Buffalo” by those who saw how he operated inside the Trump administration. Garland and Wray are both considered to be measured, studied, and cerebral in their approach to their jobs:
“In nearly a dozen interviews, current and former DOJ officials said Garland represents more of a personality fit for the low-key FBI director, who was confirmed in early August 2017, just months after Trump’s abrupt firing of James Comey set off a chain of events that led to Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel to run the Russia investigation.”
And in perhaps the greatest irony of all, Wray — who was about to be pushed out of his post as FBI chief — may wind up being instrumental in bringing the scofflaws of the Trump administration to justice at last.