Former Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday he would fire FBI Director Christopher Wray on “day one” if elected president, saying that Americans have “lost confidence” in the Justice Department.
The FBI has faced accusations that the agency has become politicized in cases involving pro-life advocates and parents protesting at school board meetings and was involved in censorship following reports based on documents released to journalist Matt Taibbi by Elon Musk, the owner of Twitter.
“Would you fire Christopher Wray?” Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, a former Trump administration official, asked Pence.
“Day one. Day one,” Pence responded. “The American people have lost confidence in the Department of Justice. They just have. I hear it everywhere that I go.”
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida promised to fire Wray on the first day in office in a May 24 interview on Fox News, while former Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey declared his intention to keep the FBI director on if Wray wanted to stay in a CNN Town Hall Monday. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy called for shutting down the FBI following the release of the Durham report on the origins of the investigation into allegations that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia.
“We’re a nation of laws and not of men, as the old ancient phrase says. We have to restore confidence,” Pence added.
Pence has criticized what he said was a “two-tiered system” on multiple occasions, including during a June 7 CNN Town Hall prior to the indictment of former President Donald Trump.
Trump entered a plea of “not guilty” to all counts during his arraignment Tuesday, after the special counsel secured a grand jury indictment on 37 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act, that was unsealed Friday. The indictment of the former president followed an investigation into classified documents that were the subject of an Aug. 8 raid on Mar-a-Lago, the Florida estate he owns.
“If I’m president of the United States, you and I know each other well, you know my standards, I would go looking for men and women of unimpeachable integrity, people that Republicans and Democrats would look to and say those are people who are committed to the law and to the fair administration of justice,” Pence told Kudlow. “You install those people and you begin to change the culture and restore confidence in the Department of Justice and in American justice.”
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