Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the hearing, according to The Federalist legal correspondent Margot Cleveland.
Foreign intelligence agencies collaborated with Big Tech to silence speech
The FBI director encountered intense scrutiny from Republican committee members regarding the agency's involvement in urging Big Tech companies to censor American speech. Multiple representatives raised concerns about the FBI's facilitation of requests from the Ukrainian intelligence agency, SBU, to social media platforms. The revelation of the FBI's role as a conduit for the SBU came to light in a recent report published by the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
Private companies are a greater threat than Wray
The basis for these concerns stems from Wray's response to inquiries regarding Bank of America's provision of financial records to the FBI. These records pertained to customers who had purchased firearms in the six months leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6, 2021. Wray defended the FBI's receipt of this information, stating that the agency regularly receives data from various business partners, including financial institutions, regarding potential criminal activities.
Wray should read the Missouri v. Biden District Court Opinion
The focal point of Wednesday's hearing was the partnership established between the FBI and social media companies, with Republicans extensively questioning Wray about the coordinated actions aimed at censoring American speech. Throughout the duration of the hearing, Wray consistently asserted that the bureau was not directly responsible for censorship, emphasizing that their role was limited to offering suggestions to remove posts that potentially involved foreign malign influence.
"No one who read the district court’s opinion in Missouri v. Biden could reasonably reach that conclusion. And since the FBI played such a heavy role in the censorship enterprise summarized in that case, the FBI director owes it to the public to actually study that opinion," Cleveland wrote.
Why was Auten anywhere near Biden evidence?
Both Wray and the Democrats were not the sole parties displaying ignorance during the proceedings. Republicans also showed a lack of understanding regarding the involvement of FBI analyst Brian Auten in evidence related to Hunter Biden.
It is puzzling, then, why Auten, who had been under internal investigation since 2019 due to his involvement in Crossfire Hurricane, was permitted to participate in the politically charged investigation concerning Hunter Biden. Considering the contentious nature of the earlier investigation, which was ultimately deemed a partisan pursuit, it raises questions as to why the FBI allowed Auten to be involved in a highly political case like that of Hunter Biden, Cleveland noted.
The real hack targeting parents is AG Garland
During the hearing, Wray found himself unable to provide a satisfactory explanation for Auten's role in the Hunter Biden investigation. However, he did clarify that the issuance of the controversial memorandum categorizing parents as potential terrorists was solely the responsibility of Attorney General Merrick Garland.
FBI always good, Orange Man always bad
Equally revealing were the primary lines of questioning employed by the Democrats during the hearing. They can be categorized into two distinct approaches. Firstly, the liberal lawmakers dedicated a significant portion of their time to rehabilitating the image of the FBI. They emphasized the bureau's crucial missions, celebrated heroic agents, emphasized instances of attacks on FBI offices, and expressed enthusiasm for the FBI's family events. On the other hand, the far-left faction predominantly focused on criticizing Donald Trump and Republicans associated with the MAGA movement.
Taken together, these lines of questioning demonstrated the Democrats' apparent disregard for the numerous instances of abuse that Americans have witnessed over the past several years.