Before failing to pursue the Florida school shooter, the FBI was under fire from President Trump and other Republicans over the Hillary Cinton case and the Russia probe. The bureau also faced criticism for allowing the 2015 South Carolina church shooter to obtain his weapon
The revelation that the FBI botched a potentially life-saving tip on the Florida school shooting suspect is a devastating blow to the top U.S. law enforcement agency at a time when it is already under extraordinary political pressure, the Associated Press reports. Even before the startling disclosure that the FBI failed to investigate a warning that Nikolas Cruz could be plotting an attack, the bureau was facing unprecedented criticism from President Trump and other Republicans, who have accused it of partisan bias. The agency and its supporters had been able to dismiss past criticism as politics. This time, it had no option but to admit it made a disastrous mistake. lorida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott, a Trump ally, called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign.
Wray, on the job for just six months, had already been in a precarious position. Trump and other Republicans are dissatisfied with the FBI decision not to charge Hillary Clinton with crimes related to her use of a private email server. They see signs of bias in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of possible Trump campaign ties to Russia. The Florida episode isn’t the first time the FBI was seen as missing an opportunity to prevent a violent attack. The white supremacist who killed nine people at a black church in South Carolina in 2015 was able to purchase his weapon only because of breakdowns in the FBI’s background check system. Congress in 2009 criticized the FBI for missteps ahead of a shooting that left 13 people dead at Fort Hood, Tx., after finding that agents failed to act on emails between the gunman and terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.