Trump Pick To Lead FBI Faces Senate Judiciary Committee

Michele Moreno
July 13, 2017

The revelations, which followed Donald Jr.'s decision to publish emails related to the meeting following inquiries and reports about it in the New York Times, conflicted with previous administration statements that campaign officials didn't meet with Russian officials and raised fresh questions about whether any Trump associates colluded with Moscow.

More recently, the bureau was left reeling when Trump announced Comey's dismissal in May, later attributing the decision to the director's oversight of the Justice investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Wray also rejected Trump's characterization of Mueller's investigation as "the greatest Witch Hunt in political history".

If confirmed, Wray would replace James Comey, who was sacked on May 9 by Trump amid an FBI investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's connections to Russian Federation.

Democratic Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont, asked Wray what he would do if Trump asked him to take any steps that he believed were illegal. Period." he said. "My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law.

He said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who approached him about the job, remarked to him that with the special counsel dealing with the issue "it made for a better landscape for me to consider taking on this position".

Commenting in response to questioning, Wray said he would never hold a news conference, as Comey had done on the Clinton case.

Wray would take quite a hit in income if confirmed as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, who makes somewhere short of $200,000. He was nominated by Trump in June to take over the top Federal Bureau of Investigation job in the wake of the James Comey firing.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais  AP
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Heading into Wednesday's hearing, Wray likely will lean heavily on his previous experience when he was confirmed to head the Justice Department's criminal division, where he served from September 2003 until May 2005. "I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt", Wray told Graham.

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 a year ago. "You could knock me over with a feather if that happened", he said.

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.

Wray noted he hadn't been approached, adding that his loyalty is to the Constitution and that he "sure as heck didn't offer" a loyalty pledge.

Thompson said Wray, "without fear or favor", played key leadership roles in the investigations and prosecutions of executives at Enron, WorldCom and Adelphia.

Senators might like to know if Wray will resign if he sees a violation of laws by the White House, or the Justice Department. Disclosure forms produced for the Office of Government Ethics show Wray earned $9.2 million previous year as a partner in an worldwide law firm, where he worked for clients ranging from Credit Suisse Group and Wells Fargo to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. "Understood", Wray responded. NO LOYALTY OATH Wray said no one at the White House had asked that he pledge loyalty to Trump, as Comey said the president demanded of him on January 26.

So expect Wray to be asked a few times about his loyalties and independence. But Trump nominated Wray despite his having worked with both men.

Other reports by Insurance News

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