In his opening statement at today’s Senate confirmation hearing, President Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, made a point to assert his independence, a topic that would come up frequently in questioning from the Senators.
“My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law. Those have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test,” he said. “I will never allow the F.B.I.’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period.”
A former assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and a very well-paid attorney, Wray was asked if anyone at the White House requested he pledge loyalty to President Trump, something that former FBI Director James Comey claims he was asked. “No one asked me for any kind of loyalty oath at any point during this process and I sure as heck didn’t offer one,” Wray said.
Two of the more notable exchanges in the hearing came during Sen. Lindsey Graham’s questioning. The South Carolina Republican asked Wray if he believes “this whole thing about the Trump campaign and Russia is a witch hunt.” After trying to avoid answering, Wray relented. “I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt,” he said.
Graham also addressed the Donald Trump Jr. email saga. The Senator asked if Trump Jr., or anyone else who is offered campaign help by a foreign government, should alert the FBI. Again, Wray tried to wiggle his way out of answering. And again, he relented.
As the hearing concluded, Chairman Sen. Charles Grassley said Wray’s nomination will be put in front of the whole Senate for a vote “soon.”