Christopher Wray pledges 'strict independence' as Federal Bureau of Investigation director

13 July, 2017, 00:43 | Author: Warren Cooper
  • Capitol Hill in Washington. If confirmed Wray will fill the position that has been left behind by former director Jame

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. Wray will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, and will ultimately require a majority of 51 votes to be confirmed by the full senate.

Donald Trump Jr. released screenshots of the emails Tuesday apparently showing how he was offered, and accepted, the chance to meet with a person who was said to be a Russian government attorney who had incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

"And in fact when I made a decision 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.

Initially, Trump cited a letter from the deputy attorney general detailing Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Comey testified in June that Trump asked him to pledge loyalty and to drop the investigation into fired national security adviser Mike Flynn.

He said no one had asked him for any loyalty oath, and that he wouldn't give one.

President Donald Trump's pick for FBI director says he does not consider special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation a "witch hunt".

He says he views Mueller "as the consummate straight shooter".

The FBI's work will be driven only by "the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice", he said, asserting his independence.

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President Trump's pick to head the FBI said he disagreed with the President on whether the investigation into possible collusion between his team and Russian Federation is a "witch hunt", one of many comments where he promised his independence from the administration if confirmed.

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".

"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt", Wray said under questioning by Sen.

Asked how he would respond if the president asked him to do something unlawful or unethical, Wray responded, "First I would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, I would resign".

Graham rephrased the question as a hypothetical.

Pressed on how he would have handled the situation, he said he couldn't imagine holding a news conference about someone who had not been charged, noting Justice Department policies against doing so.

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS: As head of the Justice Department's criminal division, Wray oversaw major criminal prosecutions - such as the special task force investigating the Enron collapse - and he also helped shape the USA government's legal response to terrorism and national security threats after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman, and Sen.

Has Trump demanded loyalty or any other commitment from Wray?

Both Democrats and Republicans want assurance of his ability to remain independent from the Oval Office.

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