Federal Bureau of Investigation nominee Christopher Wray says Russian Federation probe not witch hunt

Thursday, 13 Jul, 2017

Noting the FBI investigated former Secretary of State Clinton's unclassified email server, Hatch asked Wray how he would handle the disclosing of top-secret information. Redacted emails to and from him are included in an ACLU database on the subject. During a Fox News interview on Tuesday night, Trump Jr. acknowledged that he would have "done things a little differently" in retrospect.

Wray has been asked questions about his involvement in national security matters during the Bush administration, when the government authorized harsh interrogation techniques.

Graham asked whether the president had the authority to oust Mueller - being that he acknowledged removing Comey in an effort to derail the Russian probe.

Wray then said, "I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt".

"First, I would try to talk him out of it and if that fails I would resign", said Wray.

When he became USA attorney in Atlanta, Alexander hired Wray as a federal prosecutor, working under Sally Yates - who would go on to become a deputy attorney general in the Obama Justice Department and acting attorney general under President Trump.

Wray's statement came after Sen. The emails showed the Republican president's son agreeing a year ago to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic White House rival Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow's official support for his father.

Wray said he was not familiar with the details of Trump Jr.'s emails, which led to a June 9, 2016 meeting at the Trump Tower between Trump Jr., Goldstone and the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.

"I would think you would want to consult with some good legal advisers before you did that", Wray said.

Wray told lawmakers Wednesday that he had not been asked to give a loyalty oath, and that he would not give one if asked.

A couple hours into the hearing, a key Democrat, Sen. "And I sure as heck didn't offer one", he said.

Christopher Asher Wray, 50, is scheduled to appear Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"To be very blunt, he's appointed by an administration that is under investigation for obstruction of justice", said Sen.

But since his election, Trump has said he would follow the advice of his top aides including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who opposes the practice. He added that any efforts to tamper would need to be dealt with "very sternly". "Someone I have enormous respect for". At first, he suggested it was based on DOJ recommendations, but later admitted he was going to fire Comey regardless. "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". He said the American public rightly expects that commitment. I know, from up close - and I sleep better because I know - that the horror of 9/11 has never faded from the FBI's collective memory.

Feinstein says she will question Christopher Wray on how he will remain impervious to political influence.

The president tweeted Wednesday morning that the investigation, which includes probing allegations of collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign, "is the greatest Witch Hunt in political history". Given Comey's dismissal and ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the USA election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, senators are expected to press Wray on his independence and integrity.

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. "Will he stand up for what is right and lawful?" Period." he said. "My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law. "And most importantly, for what people may be interested in for our new Federal Bureau of Investigation director, he doesn't seek the limelight".

Much of Wray's hearing focused on his ability to remain independent, something he addressed ahead of senators' questions. Wray's setting himself up for a lot of these committee hearings over the next few years. He would take over an agency still reeling from President Donald Trump's abrupt firing of Comey less than four years into the director's 10-year term.