Hearings begin on nominee for FBI director

FBI director nominee Christopher Wray is sworn in on Capitol Hill on Wednesday prior to testifying at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. AP
Trump's nominee for FBI director arrives for confirmation hearing
Author

13 July, 2017

The Justice Department in May appointed Mueller to lead the federal investigation into ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation.

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Trump, President Donald Trump's eldest son, had met with a Russian lawyer linked with the Kremlin to obtain negative information on Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump won't say whether Russian Federation alone meddled in the US election; Wray says he has "no reason whatsoever to doubt the assessment of the intelligence community" that Russian Federation did meddle.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Trump, who is due to fly to Paris for meetings with French president Emmanuel Macron to coincide with Bastille Day, tweeted about his son's appearance on Fox News on Tuesday night. A former Justice Department official who helped the US respond to the September 11 attacks, Wray represented Credit Suisse Group AG before its main unit pleaded guilty in 2014 and paid $2.6 billion for helping thousands of Americans evade taxes.

Christopher Wray, now a private practice lawyer, worked under George W Bush's administration as assistant attorney general in the USA department of justice's criminal division between 2003 and 2005.

CURRENT JOB: Wray works on white-collar crime and regulatory cases as a partner at the King & Spalding law firm.

Wray has worked at the Atlanta law firm for almost 12 years, representing major corporations and also New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, who was involved in the so-called "Bridgegate" affair and who recently made the headlines for sunning himself on a public beach that he had closed via a government shutdown.

If confirmed, Wray would serve a 10-year term until 2027. How does he intend to protect the probe's integrity? Graham's question - in essence, do you agree with this completely asinine statement your future boss made? - certainly puts Wray in a tight spot. Democrats are likely to mention that.

Ultimately it will be up to senators to ask the tough questions about how the administration will be treated. "Is your commitment to the law, or to the president who chose you?"

That is because these are not normal times and Donald Trump is not a normal president. That includes pressure to scrutinize the person the president has selected to replace Comey.

More news: Trump's fraud panel wants SC voter rolls

"Chris is a Republican but he doesn't wear his politics on his sleeve".

"Torture is wrong and ineffective", Wray said.

He also said Mr Trump had encouraged him to end an investigation into the former national security adviser Michael Flynn. "What would you do if the president tried to ask you to do something that was unlawful?" The comments came after questions from Democratic Sen. He expressed confidence in Wray's ability to retain that independence. "As such, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation must be a leader who has the integrity and strength that will enable him to withstand any attempts at political interference".

Wray wasn't on the original list of potential replacements.

After all, Wray looks to succeed James Comey, a Republican who learned of his firing by President Donald Trump on television.

Graham then asked whether he should meet with Russians if they wanted to help his campaign.

Wray has a history of taking on politically tough assignments. Last year, he earned $9.2 million.

"Anyone who does would be making a very serious mistake". He also owns stock in companies like Coca Cola, Hewlett Packard and McDonalds.

"You don't think Director Comey is a nutjob right", asked Sen.


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