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FBI Director Christopher Wray at a virtual DOJ news briefing on Oct. 28. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden plans to keep Christopher Wray as director of the FBI and has "confidence in the job he is doing," White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed in a tweet Thursday.

The big picture: Wray, who was nominated by former President Trump in 2017 after he fired former FBI Director James Comey, came under heavy criticism from Trump and his allies over the past year.

  • Trump always distrusted the FBI and the intelligence community, and was angered by Wray's perceived failure to punish those involved in the Russia investigation and to investigate Hunter Biden's foreign business dealings.
  • Wray further angered the former president by testifying before Congress that the FBI had not found any evidence of widespread voter fraud, including through mail-in ballots, and that Antifa is an "ideology," not an "organization."

Between the lines: Amid speculation that Wray could be fired, the FBI Agents Association (FBIAA) sent letters to Biden and Trump in late October to urge them to allow the FBI director to finish his 10-year term and insulate the bureau from politics.

What they're saying: House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) praised Biden's decision to return to 10-year terms for FBI directors. "Such terms, which transcend administrations, were intended to insulate a director from the kind of improper personal or political considerations that led Donald Trump to fire former Director James Comey," Schiff wrote in a statement.

What to watch: The FBI is in the early stages of a massive investigation into felony cases "tied to sedition and conspiracy" after Trump supporters led a deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol. The probe spans several states, has so far resulted in over 125 arrests, and involves multiple U.S. Attorneys' offices.

The bottom line: FBIAA President Brian O’Hare wrote last year that the FBI is facing a “daunting threat environment,” citing domestic and foreign terrorism, espionage, cyber-attacks, and traditional crimes. After the siege on the Capitol, the agency only faces more potential threats to deal with.

Go deeper

Ex-FBI lawyer sentenced to 12-months probation in Durham investigation

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months probation and 400 hours of community service on Friday after pleading guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page during the 2016 Russia investigation.

Why it matters: Clinesmith is thus far the only person to be convicted in special counsel John Durham investigation's into the origins of the Russia probe, which has been ongoing since May 2019.

Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin testifies before a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Sept. 29 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool via Getty Images

The state of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday in an attempt to block the enforcement of its vaccine mandate for federal employees.

Why it matters: The move comes one day after Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin denied Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt's (R) request to exempt the state's National Guard from the mandate.

Congress passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate voted 69-28 to pass legislation Thursday night to fund the government until February 18.

Why it matters: The move staves off a government shutdown but lawmakers still have a busy month ahead: Congress needs to work out a deal to raise the debt ceiling in a few weeks and Democrats are trying to pass their behemoth social spending bill.