Senate holds hearing on Christopher Wray to be the new Federal Bureau of Investigation head

Posted July 13, 2017

Wray's responses seemed to satisfy both Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, many of whom signaled their support for him. The New York Times revealed that the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., received an email last summer from an intermediary promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton and furnished by the Russian government.

Wray first said that he would "consult with the appropriate officials" before communicating with the committee to not risk undermining an investigation.

Trump dismissed Comey in May, later saying he was thinking about the FBI's Russian Federation investigation when he made the decision.

Wray distanced himself from the White House on several issues, at one point making clear he did not believe the FBI's investigation into Russia's involvement in the 2016 constituted a "witch hunt", adding he will be very committed to supporting the special counsel leading the investigation in Comey's absence, Robert Mueller.

Wray on July 12 told the committee he would also continue the probe into contacts between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian officials and other individuals.

During his testimony, Wray said he didn't discuss Comey's firing with anyone in the White House but did talk about it with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who said that the appointment of Mueller as special counsel "in effect made for a better landscape for me to consider taking this situation". "Period. Full stop. My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law".

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

Much of Wray's hearing focused on his ability to remain independent, something he addressed ahead of senators' questions.

"You want to be director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, pal", Graham shot back.

"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt", Wray said under questioning from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC.

Wray said that as a prosecutor, he learned about "playing it straight and following the facts wherever they may lead".

Wray, who most recently has enjoyed a lucrative legal career at an global law firm, also faced questions about his work as a top Justice Department official in the Bush administration.

Feinstein says she has concerns about Wray's involvement in national security matters during the Bush administration, when the government authorized harsh interrogation techniques.

"I think it would be wise", he said.

If confirmed, Wray would serve a 10-year term until 2027.

Earlier on Wednesday, Mr Trump, who is due to fly to Paris for meetings with French president Emmanuel Macron to coincide with Bastille Day, tweeted about his son's appearance on Fox News on Tuesday night. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the chairman, and Sen.

"Torture is wrong and ineffective", Wray said.

Additionally, Wray listed three "confidential clients" whose "names can not be disclosed because they are subject to non-public investigations".