President Donald Trump has come so close to firing FBI Director Christopher Wray in recent months that the White House counsel’s office has warned him not to do so because it could put him in potential legal jeopardy, according to a senior administration official with direct knowledge of the discussion and a U.S. official familiar with the discussion.

White House lawyers “strongly” advised Trump against firing another FBI director out of concern that doing so would risk creating the perception that a “loyalty test” was being imposed on a position that traditionally has maintained independence from the White House, according to the senior administration official…

Their concern was that firing Wray could be seen as retaliation because the president has publicly pressured him to take specific actions on certain investigations — such as announcing a probe into President-elect Joe Biden’s son — and then expressed frustration that Wray has not followed his suggestions.