FBI Director Christopher Wray told agency employees Friday that he stood with them after the release of a memo outlining allegations by Republican lawmakers that FBI investigators abused their powers in their probe of Russian interference in the presidential election.
“I stand by our shared determination to do our work independently and by the book,” Wray said in a statement to 35,000 FBI staff.
“You’ve all been through a lot in the past nine months and I know it’s often been unsettling, to say the least. And the past few days haven’t done much to calm those waters,” he said. “Talk is cheap; the work you do is what will endure.”
Wray’s letter made no direct reference to the memo released Friday. He also gave no indication that he planned to leave the agency.
President Donald Trump lashed out at the FBI and Justice Department on Friday after the memo was made public.
He tweeted: “The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans — something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago. Rank & File are great people.”
When asked by a reporter whether releasing the memo made it more likely Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein would be fired, Trump replied, “You figure that one out.”
Rosenstein supervises the Russia probe and named special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the investigation.
White House officials said later that the administration expected Rosenstein to remain in his job.
“No changes are going to be made at the Department of Justice. We fully expect Rod Rosenstein to continue on as the deputy attorney general,” White House spokesman Raj Shah told CNN.