Senate Confirmation Hearing for Trump's Nominee for FBI Director

What to Expect at the FBI Nominee's Confirmation Hearing

The nominee to replace James Comey as the head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation has strongly defended his independence during a confirmation hearing at the US Senate, stating that US president Donald Trump has not asked him for a vow of loyalty at any point. Comey had been overseeing the FBI's investigation of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election and possible ties between some top aides of the Trump campaign and Russia.

Wray says he does not support torture and says "I have no recollection of ever reviewing, much less providing input or comments or blessing, approval", of memos on the subject.

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. Trump has denied making those statements.

Wray, then the head of the Justice Department's criminal division, heard that the higher-ups at the department - including then-Deputy Attorney General James Comey and then-FBI Director Robert Mueller - were preparing to resign in a dispute with the Bush administration.

According to a Saturday report by USA Today, Wray's law firm continues to represent Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia's largest state-controlled oil companies.

"If I am given the honor of leading this agency, 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".

"First, I would try to talk him out of it", Wray stated.

"Senator, I think Russian Federation is a foreign nation that we have to deal with warily", Wray replied after hesitating briefly.

GRAHAM: You're going to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, pal.

But for Wray, that question is even more dicey considering the circumstances in which Comey was sacked. He also said Trump had encouraged him to end an investigation into the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Graham read out loud the 2016 emails that Trump Jr. tweeted out on Tuesday confirming that he had met with the operative after they offered "dirt" that could potentially upend Clinton's presidential campaign. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Wray was asked about a hypothetical situation in which the senator was presented with the kind of opportunity that the president's son, Donald Trump Jr., faced in a series of emails in June 2016.

"No one asked me for any sort of loyalty oath at any point during this process and I sure as heck didn't offer one", Wray said. Leon Neyfakh at Slate argued that Wray is basically another Comey, and that would make sense since they worked together at the Department of Justice.

Said Wray: "I have no reason to doubt the conclusions of the intelligence community". 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. According to financial disclosures, Mr. Wray has made $9.2 million since the beginning of 2016 as a partner with the law firm King & Spalding, where he has spent nearly 12 years with the firm, representing major corporations and also New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie.

As for history, Wray's nomination already marks a first. Prior to Wray's nomination, Trump considered a number of candidates for the director position, among them McCabe, Sen.

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