Federal Bureau of Investigation nominee: Russian Federation probe not a 'witch hunt'

Violet Powell
July 13, 2017

During his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray stated that he doesn't believe special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe is a witch hunt.

Questions about Wray's ability to be an independent leader, resistant to political pressures, are expected to dominate his hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the FBI's eighth director.

More than two months after President Trump fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey, Congress is very carefully, very warily considering his replacement.

In the interview with Fox News, Mr Trump's eldest son said he did not inform his father about his controversial meeting with the Russian lawyer on June 9th in Trump Tower. Wray said that no such demand had been made of him.

Wray also knew earlier than the public in 2004 about Central Intelligence Agency abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and "was at the very least on the fringes of discussions on the legality of military interrogation techniques in 2003", the Miami Herald reported. Period." he said. "My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law.

To satisfy ethics concerns, Wray will not participate for one year in Federal Bureau of Investigation matters that involve companies or people represented by his former law firm, Lofthus said in his letter.

Wray said he would stand ready to resign at a moment's notice if he deemed it necessary and that "there isn't a person on this planet whose lobbying or influence" could convince him to drop a proper investigation.

WRAY: Well, Senator, I would think you'd want to consult with some good legal advisers before you did it.

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"The FBI director does not serve the president", Feinstein told the hearing.

Trump thinks Comey was a "nut job;" Wray doesn't: "In all my dealing with Jim Comey, he was a terrific lawyer, a dedicated public servant and a wonderful colleague".

He was assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate for that.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was the first to bring up the recent controversy regarding Donald Trump Jr.'s emails relating to his meeting with a Russian lawyer previous year.

"And in fact when I chose to just do it I said to myself, I said, 'You know, this Russian Federation thing with Trump and Russian Federation is a made-up story, it's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won, '" Trump told Holt.

Mr Wray's confirmation hearing took place amid continuing controversy over the Trump administration's links with Russia, following confirmation by Donald Trump jnr that he attended a meeting with a Russian attorney under the pretext of receiving incriminating material on Ms Clinton from the Russian government. "Nobody asked me for any kind of loyalty oath, and I sure as heck didn't offer one".

Wray says he is "committed to supporting" the investigation "in whatever way is appropriate for me". However, Wray's stint in President George W. Bush's administration, in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, could revive past debates about mistreatment of detainees, civil rights and prosecutorial independence.

"Because it's not clear to me that we will ever come to some agreed-upon resolution of that question between the two nations". He is also the former personal attorney for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump ally.

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