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Ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaks during a congressional hearing. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Top Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray on Monday demanding he review his agency's handling of its investigation into Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: Sources familiar with the document tell Axios the letter is a direct rebuke of Wray, and that it reflects a growing frustration among congressional Republicans who question whether he can be trusted to expose what they see as a corrupt FBI.

Between the lines: The letter — written by ranking member Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), one of Trump's fiercest defenders, and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) — also casts doubt on Wray's motives for not disclosing what they describe as "the FBI's misconduct," and questions whether he and other top FBI officials intentionally "prevented or delayed the disclosure of additional exculpatory information" regarding Flynn.

  • "Conservatives really feel like Wray blew the entire Michael Flynn saga, and many on the right want heads to roll," a House GOP aide told Axios.

Details ... The six-page letter demands that Wray:

  • Turn over all documents and communications relating to the FBI's investigation into Flynn.
  • Explain when Wray "personally first learned of the FBI’s misconduct" with respect to Flynn.
  • Explain why the public "is learning of the FBI’s misconduct with respect to LTG Flynn from court filings rather than from you."
  • Explain whether Wray and the FBI’s senior leadership were involved in keeping this information hidden.
  • The deadline to turn over these documents is May 18,

The big picture: The letter comes as Trump himself is turning on Wray, who he hand-selected to lead the FBI after firing former director James Comey.

  • Trump would love to replace Wray, three sources who've discussed the matter with the president tell Axios' Jonathan Swan, and private and public pressure is building among several of the president's allies.
  • But Trump has been deferring to Attorney General Bill Barr and is unlikely to remove Wray before the election, these sources said.

Read the letter.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

FBI director Wray warns of China election interference

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray and other intelligence community officials warned about China’s increased capability to interfere in U.S. elections in separate classified hearings with the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, two sources familiar with the hearings tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Wray and other officials cited concerns that China is developing the ability to interfere with local election systems and target members of Congress to influence China policy, the sources said.

53 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

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