FBI Director Christopher Wray contradicted the White House claim that former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s background investigation was ongoing, telling the Senate Intelligence Committee that his agency completed the investigation in July of 2017, and closed out the file in January after providing some additional information.
Porter resigned last week after allegations from two ex-wives that he physically and emotionally abused them became public.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy press secretary Raj Shah have repeatedly insisted that the background check process into Porter was ongoing when media reports of the alleged abuse surfaced.
But FBI Director Wray offered a new timeline on the background check for Porter in response to questions from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), saying that investigators submitted a partial report on their investigation of Porter as far back as March 2017.
“I can’t get into the content of what was briefed, what I can tell you is the FBI submitted a partial report on the investigation in question in March, and then a completed background investigation in late July,” he said.
“Soon thereafter we received a request for follow-up inquiry and we did the follow-up and provided that information in November and then we administratively closed the file in January. And then earlier this month, we received additional information and we passed that on as well.”
Wray said he is “confident” the bureau followed the decades-long set of standards for conducting such a background briefing on a White House staffer.
“There is a limit to what I can say about any particular background investigation. The background investigation process involves a fairly elaborate set of guidelines, protocols, agreements, et cetera that have been in place for 20 plus years. And I am quite confident in this particular instance that the FBI followed the established protocols.”