Cottonwood Cottonwood Police Chief Steve Gesell shook Federal Bureau of Information Director Christopher Wray’s hand in Phoenix, after a meeting between the director and approximately 30 police chiefs from around the state.
Gesell also met with former FBI Director James Comey a year ago – two months before he was fired.
Wray opened his comments by talking about the recent intense scrutiny of the FBI.
Gesell said he thinks the FBI is focused on maintaining a positive relationship with local law enforcement.
“I personally have had a relationship with the FBI that has been very, very positive,” Gesell said.
Contrasting Comey and Wray, Gesell said both “seemed like honorable men – articulate, intelligent individuals.”
Wray spent more time dedicated to a question-and-answer session than Comey. Gesell said his question was in relation to former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who was determined to have authorized the disclosure of a continuing investigation. Wray pressured McCabe to step down in January.
Gesell’s question was: How will Wray’s philosophy as director shape the FBI going forward, and more specifically, what is Wray’s perspective on accountability if misconduct within the FBI was affirmed?’
Gesell said he “didn’t have many expectations” as far as an answer, but to his surprise, Wray spent “a great deal of time” answering. He describes Wray as seemingly honest, deliberate, with impeccable eye-contact.
“What he said was, ‘I know the inspector general, FBI does not inspect ourselves, he’s an independent thinker – I trust him to do a thorough investigation.’ … I could see it in his face, he would hold people accountable,” Gesell said. “I could tell he meant it. I can appreciate that.”