It seems that Donald Trump’s candidate for the next FBI director, Christopher Wray is ready to be elected after the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee stated they will vote for President’s nominee after his confirmation hearing.
Even before the end of the hearing Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top Democrat, said she will vote in favor of Christopher Wray.
After committee’s green light nomination would be sent to the full Senate, which is expected to approve it right away.
Although it lasted almost five hours, Wray’s hearing went through as expected unlike previous ones with other potential Trump Justice Department officials which have been overwhelmed with protests.
Hearing was focused on questions on different topics like counterterrorism, surveillance and civil liberties. But the large part of questioning was about his readiness to secure the bureau’s independence, especially now when President fired previous FBI Director. This decision Trump attributed to investigation into Russian meddling in the last U.S. presidential election.
Wray said that he did not had conversations about Comey’s dismissal with anyone form the Trump administration except with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein where Rosenstein mentioned it in conversation about taking over the empty position.
On hearing Wray stated many times that he will be loyal not to president’s politics but to “the rule of law and the Constitution.”
“They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test,” Wray testified
He later added if he was asked by the president to do anything illegal or unethical we would “try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, I would resign.”
Wray testified that he will try to avoid one-on-one meetings with the president. On those kind of meetings ex-director Comey recorded many memos which he later testified about to the Senate intelligence committee. During one meeting, the president allegedly told Comey, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.”
He reffered this problem by saying, “My first step would be to call Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein,” adding, “There’s a policy that applies to contacts between the White House and the Department. … There obviously are situations where the FBI director needs to be able to communicate with the president on national security matters, for example. But in my experience it would be very unusual for there to be any kind of one-on-one meeting between any FBI director and any president.”
He also sad he would probably feel compelled to note such conversations and similar discussions.
Regarding the two meetings he already had with Trump, he testified, “nobody asked me for any loyalty oath at any point in this process, and I sure as heck wouldn’t offer one.”
The hearing happened less than a day after Donald Trump Jr. released emails that confirmed he wanted to accept harmful information regarding Hillary Clinton, during the elections. These informations were offered to him by someone who is connected to the Russian government, or he was told so, although the law prohibits campaigns from seeking or accepting “anything of value” from foreign entities.
Although it was all over the front pages of The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, Wray said he was unaware of this scandal because he was overwhelmed by meetings with senators.
However he testified that “it would be wise to let the FBI” be informed about such contacts.
“Any threat or effort to interfere with our elections from any nation-state or non-state actors is the kind of thing we’d want to know,” Wray said.