Laurel Lee Presses FBI Director Wray Over Monitoring Parents

Laurel Lee Presses FBI Director Wray Over Monitoring Parents

GOP presses into intelligence community

Jim McCool
Jim McCool
|
July 13, 2023

The controversial FBI Director Christopher Wray faced more questioning in the United States House Judiciary Committee, including from Florida's own US Rep. Laurel Lee (R-FL) who pressed the embattled FBI Director.

Although being appointed by former President Donald Trump (R-FL), the GOP has grown distrust of the FBI director as the weaponization of the intelligence community has become a top priority for Republican officials as more indictments for the former president pour in.

Rep. Lee, who sits on the Judiciary Committee centered on the surveillance of citizens in a politically motivated manner.  After probing about the importance of the FBI's counterterrorism activities, Lee asked, "We know that there are a limited number of agents, a limited number of resources, and a vast responsibility to prevent a broad of very serious offenses.  What I'd like to do with that in mind is turn your attention to the decision in the bureau to use investigative resources to investigate and surveil parents who attended school board meetings for the purpose of sharing their concerns about the nature of their children's education."

Lee asked, "Is it correct that in 2021 the FBI created a threat tag specifically designed to identify parents attending school board meetings?" Wray responded, "Yes, but I think it is important for people to understand what a threat tag is, and is not."  Wray added, "It's not an investigative tool, it's an administrative function in our system and it doesn't change anything about how we investigate."

Upon further pressure, Director Wray then denied that the FBI surveilled specific parents who attended school board meetings for their kids.  Wray claims the Bureau opened 25 assessments into reports that were tagged, but none of them had to do with school board meetings.

Wray was pressed by other lawmakers on January 6th and who allege abuses of surveillance technology for politically motivated uses of the Bureau.  The concern from the GOP foreshadows the up and coming primary race where Donald Trump will be the center of attention as the former president faces multiple criminal trials, and possibly more.

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Jim McCool

Jim McCool

Jim is a graduate of Florida State University where he studied Political Science, Religion and Criminology. He has been a reporter for the Floridian since January of 2021 and will start law school in 2024.

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