FBI Director Nominee Hearing
President Trump’s nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee today. The committee asked a variety of questions that had to do with hate crimes, reestablishing the FBI, leading the FBI, and where Mr. Wray’s loyalty would reside as Director of the FBI.
Mr. Wray impressed many members of the committee with his answers, and most of the hearing was straightforward and even-keeled. There were just a few pointed questions, coming mainly from Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT).
Senator Leahy asked what Mr. Wray would do if the president in any way hinted at or suggested illegal behavior. Mr. Wray responded, “First, I would try to talk him out of it. If that failed, I would resign.”
Senator Graham read aloud from the emails released yesterday by Donald Trump, Jr. The emails show that Trump, Jr. took a meeting with Rod Goldstone, a Russian entertainment executive who had a relationship with President Trump through the Miss Universe pageant, on the premise of damning evidence to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. After he read the emails, Senator Graham asked Mr. Wray, “Should Donald Trump, Jr. have taken that meeting?”
The line of questioning between Senator Graham and Mr. Wray ended with Mr. Wray saying to politicians. “To the members of this committee: any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation-state, or any non-state actor is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know.”
Who is Nominee Christopher Wray?
Christopher Wray has 25 years legal experience as a defense attorney and criminal prosecutor. He attended Yale Law School, graduating in 1992 and joining the King and Spalding law firm in Atlanta. In 1997, Mr. Wray was named an assistant U.S. attorney in Georgia, later joining the Department of Justice in 2001. In 2005 he left the Department of Justice to return to King and Spalding where he has remained since, working on high profile cases such as the defense for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate” scandal.
Memorable Quotes from Mr. Wray:
On outside political or other influence on the FBI: “I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice.”
On tampering with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation: “I would consider an effort to tamper with Director Mueller’s investigation to be unacceptable and inappropriate and would need to be dealt with very sternly and appropriately, indeed.”
On if anyone from the Trump Administration asked for a loyalty oath: “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.”
On if he believes Mueller is on a witch hunt in his investigation: “I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt.”
On if he believes the Russians interfered with the 2016 election: “All I’ve seen is the public intelligence community’s assessment, but I have no reason to doubt the intelligence community’s assessment.”
It appears as though Mr. Wray’s confirmation will go smoothly and barring any extraordinary circumstances will become the next director of the FBI. Some of his answers might make him an immediate adversary of the Trump Administration; with his stance that waterboarding is a form of torture, that he believes there was interference into the election, and not allowing influences other than facts.
Jackson Collier is the Editor-in-Chief for The Bitter Student. He wants to graduate with concentrations in both journalism and communications. His writing interests are politics and short stories. You can follow Jackson on social media @jacksoncollier and LinkedIn.
Featured Image // Via https://thinkprogress.org/trumps-nominee-fbi-russia-investigation-not-witch-hunt-308f924d781b?gi=59bdb9a82ab6