It was time for him to fly.
FBI Director Christopher Wray, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time since July 2021, insisted he had to leave the hearing by 1:30 p.m. sharp. (It began at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning.)
Despite leading a scandal-ridden agency quickly losing the trust of the American people and congressional Republicans, Wray somehow believes that setting aside less than four hours to answer questions by lawmakers responsible for checking and balancing his work is sufficient.
“I had a flight that I’m supposed to be high-tailing it to, and I had understood that we were going to be done at 1:30, so that’s how we ended up where we are,” Wray told Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking member who asked why the rush. If Wray needed to leave on business, Grassley noted, “you’ve got your own plane,” referring to the taxpayer-funded Gulfstream G550 jet used to ferry the head of the FBI around the country privately.
Wray got his way—the committee wrapped shortly after 1:30 p.m. with no chance for Republicans to ask follow-up questions. It was a symbolic win and another example of how Wray almost always prevails in skirmishes between his agency and members of Congress.