On Wednesday, FBI Director Christopher Wray shut down Republican criticism at a congressional hearing. GOP representatives have blasted the bureau’s handling of the investigation into Hunter Biden and claimed that the Department of Justice had encouraged companies to censor conservative views.

The Republican narrative that the federal agencies have been “weaponizing” their powers against their party was perpetuated initially by Donald Trump, who has accused the Justice Department of wrongfully charging him of willful retention of national security information, despite voluminous evidence to do so.

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee grilled Wray about the probe into Hunter Biden, one that conservatives have been skeptical of. Hunter Biden was charged last month with two counts of tax fraud and arranged a pretrial agreement to avoid a felony gun charge. Republicans believe the FBI has been protecting President Joe Biden and his family from formal charges while purposely accusing Trump of criminal activity.

His appearance before the panel marked the first time that Wray has spoken to the House of Representatives since Trump was indicted last month, and since Hunter Biden was charged.

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During the panel, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) read faked text thread from 2017, which allegedly captured Hunter Biden telling a Chinese businessman that he was sitting with his father, a scenario that Biden has repeatedly denied. Lawyers for Hunter Biden have dismissed the text chain as fraudulent, but Republicans still believe in his involvement in several illegal business dealings over the years.

Gaetz referred to the texts as a “shakedown” of the businessman and condemned Wray for being “deeply uncurious” about the message.

When asked by Gaetz if he was protecting the Biden family, Wray responded “Absolutely not.”

Lawmakers also asked Wray about the bureau’s relationship with social media corporations. Last week, a Trump-appointed federal judge sided with the Republican attorneys general of Louisiana and Missouri to block federal agencies from communicating with media firms and moderating platforms. Conservatives believe that the Biden administration has been trying to “silence” opposing beliefs about many controversial issues, such as the results of the 2020 election and the Covid-19 vaccines.

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