The work was done by the book, the director wrote in his Aug. 11 email. “We don’t cut corners. We don’t play favorites.”
The internal message was an acknowledgment of the unprecedented nature of the search and the subsequent pummeling the bureau had been receiving from Trump and his supporters. It also was a recognition that the FBI had been navigating a moment so fraught that the normally taciturn Wray felt compelled to address employees about the ramifications of the investigation.
The pressures on Wray and the FBI have grown since then and are only likely to intensify. In its long history, the FBI has rarely been at the center of so many politically sensitive investigations. Agents are simultaneously examining the retention of classified documents by Trump and President Joe Biden. And they’re scrutinizing efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election ahead of the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol.