Trump-Picked FBI Director 'Will Be Prosecuted and Imprisoned': Steve Bannon

Right-wing strategist and podcaster Steve Bannon blasted Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Christopher Wray, who was nominated by former President Donald Trump, contending that he would face prosecution and prison.

Trump nominated Wray to lead the FBI as the agency's eighth director in June 2017 after he controversially fired former director James Comey the previous month. Bannon, who was the chief executive of Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, was serving in the White House as a senior counselor to the president at the time of Wray's nomination.

The former president later attacked Wray publicly and reportedly weighed the idea of firing his FBI director, although that never happened. President Joe Biden chose to keep Wray on after he took office. FBI directors are nominated to 10-year terms, but also serve at the discretion of the president. In January 2021, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter that the president had "confidence in the job" Wray was doing.

Bannon, however, expressed outrage at the FBI director in an early Saturday morning Gettr post. "The FBI is out of control—a danger to a free citizenry—Chris Wray is just one of many criminals in leadership that will be prosecuted and imprisoned," the staunch Trump ally wrote.

Christopher Wray and Steve Bannon
Right-wing strategist Steve Bannon said that FBI director Christopher Wray could face prosecution and prison in a Saturday Gettr post. Above to the left, Wray speaks during a press conference at the Justice Department on April 6 in Washington, DC. Above to the right, Bannon arrives at U.S. District Court for an appearance on March 16 in Washington, DC. Anna Moneymaker/Win McNamee/Getty Images

The right-wing strategist, who hosts the popular War Room podcast, included a link to a Daily Mail article citing data first reported by The Wall Street Journal. The article was titled, "The FBI may have conducted as many as 3.4 million searches of Americans' electronic data without a warrant last year."

Despite the headline, the article actually reported that it was likely that the number of searches was "far lower." It explained that each individual search of an electronic device is counted in the data, while many devices may be searched multiple times during an investigation. It also reported that some international devices not belonging to American citizens may be included in the number. At the same time, it noted that the number still seemed startling high.

"My understanding is that some of this was about researching and doing an investigation into potential hacking, but I will get you more from the FBI after this," Psaki told reporters at a press briefing on Friday.

The FBI declined to comment when contacted by Newsweek on Saturday.

Bannon previously called for the potential prosecution of another former Trump administration official earlier this month. On an April 20 episode of his podcast, Bannon said that former Attorney General William Barr should "preserve evidence."

The show notes on the War Room website explained: "Bannon concludes that Barr's book will be used as evidence against him in a trial after the GOP takes back the White House." During the episode, Bannon described Barr's memoir as "shocking," knocking the former attorney general for acting like "some big hero."

The former attorney general has drawn the ire of Trump and other allies of the former president for flatly rejecting false claims that the 2020 election was rife with widespread voter fraud. In the wake of the election, Bannon had the Justice Department investigate some of the claims, but determined they were bogus.

"Former Attorney General Bill Barr wouldn't know voter fraud if it was staring him in the face—and it was," the former president claimed in a March statement. "The fact is, he was weak."

Barr, who was widely viewed as one of Trump's most loyal Cabinet members, said in his memoir published in March that he told the former president directly to his face that the claims about voter fraud were "bulls**t." In an interview with Newsmax Thursday, he said it would be a "mistake" for Republicans to nominate Trump as their presidential candidate in 2024.

Update 4/30/22, 4:30 p.m. ET: This story has been updated to note that the FBI declined to comment.