WASHINGTON â The Latest on the Senate hearing on Christopher Wrayâs nomination as FBI director (all times local):
The lawyer picked by President Trump to lead the FBI says he does not believe a special counsel investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump election campaign is a âwitch hunt.â
Christopher Wrayâs comments to a Senate panel represent a break with President Donald Trump, who has described the probe in those terms. Wray also told senators at his confirmation hearing that he would never let politics get in the way of the bureauâs mission. ___
FBI director nominee Christopher Wray says he has no recollection of providing input on Bush-era Justice Department memos on the interrogation and detention of terror suspects.
Wray was asked during his confirmation hearing about his role in the so-called âtorture memosâ detailing the use of certain interrogation tactics such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation. Redacted emails to and from him are included in an ACLU database on the subject.
Wray says he does not support torture and says âI have no recollection of ever reviewing, much less providing input or comments or blessing, approval,â of memos on the subject.
Wray has been asked questions about his involvement in national security matters during the Bush administration, when the government authorized harsh interrogation techniques.
President Donald Trumpâs pick for FBI director says he does not consider special counsel Robert Muellerâs Russia investigation a âwitch hunt.â
Christopher Wray made the comments under questioning by Sen. Lindsey Graham about Trumpâs own comments on the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.
In a series of statements on Twitter, Trump called Muellerâs investigation a âWITCH HUNTâ based on the âphonyâ premise of possible collusion between Russia and a cadre of Trump campaign associates.
Wray says simply, âI do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt.â
President Donald Trumpâs pick for FBI director says efforts to meddle or interfere with U.S. elections should be reported to FBI.
Christopher Wrayâs comments came under sharp questioning by Sen. Lindsey Graham about revelations that Trumpâs sonâs met with a Russian lawyer during last yearâs presidential campaign.
Graham asked whether Trump Jr. should have agreed to that meeting; Wray stopped short of answering.
Graham then asked whether he should meet with Russians if they wanted to help his campaign.
Wray told Graham he would probably want to consult with a legal adviser before doing so. Asked whether someone should report that to the FBI, he added, âAny threat or effort to interfere with our election by any nation state or any non-state actor is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know.â
FBI director nominee Christopher Wray says he has not been asked to pledge his loyalty to the White House nor would he do so.
Wray says his loyalty is to the Constitution, the rule of law and the mission of the FBI. The comments came after questions from Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy.
Wray says, âno one asked me for any kind of loyalty oath at any point during this process, and I sure as heck didnât offer one.â
Leahy says he remains disturbed by FBI director James Comeyâs abrupt firing. President Donald Trump is said to have asked Comey for a loyalty pledge during a private dinner before his dismissal.
FBI director nominee Christopher Wray says attempts to tamper with a special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling would be âunacceptable.â
Wray says he would inform the Senate Judiciary Committee of any efforts to interfere with that probe, as long as he wouldnât be breaking any law or hindering the investigation by revealing such information.
Wrayâs comments came under questioning by Sen. Dianne Feinstein about special counsel Robert Muellerâs Russia investigation.
Wray says he is âcommitted to supportingâ the investigation âin whatever way is appropriate for me.â He added that any efforts to tamper would need to be dealt with âvery sternly.â
He says he views Mueller âas the consummate straight shooter. Someone I have enormous respect for.â
The two worked together when Wray was in the Bush administrationâs Justice Department
FBI director nominee Christopher Wray says he has never discussed former director James Comeyâs firing with the White House.
Wray says he also never discussed Comey or his abrupt dismissal with the Justice Department or the FBI.
His comment came under questioning from Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
Wray says the issue only came up once, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told him he had appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. That happened after Comeyâs firing.
Wray says âthat made for a better landscape for me to consider taking on this position.â
FBI director nominee Christopher Wray says he would lead the agency âwithout fear, without favoritism and certainly without regard to political influence.â
Wrayâs statement came after Sen. Chuck Grassley asked how he viewed the independence of the FBI and its director. He says the American public rightly expects that commitment.
Wray says âanybody who thinks that I would be pulling punches as FBI director sure doesnât know me very well.â
He says thereâs only one right way to lead the FBI, and thatâs with âstrict independenceâ and by being faithful to the Constitution.
Some lawmakers will want assurances that he will be able to be independent from the White House after President Donald Trump is said to have asked for a loyalty pledge before firing former director James Comey.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein says she will seek assurances that President Donald Trumpâs pick for FBI director will be independent from the White House.
Feinstein says she will question Christopher Wray on how he will remain impervious to political influence.
She says she is concerned after Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey. Trump has said his decision was at least in part due to the FBIâs investigation into his campaignâs ties to Russian election meddling.
Feinstein says she wonders, âWill Mr. Wray and the FBI pursue investigations with independence and vigor, regardless of who may be implicated? Will he stand up for what is right and lawful?â
Feinstein says she has concerns about Wrayâs involvement in national security matters during the Bush administration, when the government authorized harsh interrogation techniques.
President Donald Trumpâs nominee for FBI director is signaling that he wonât let politics get in the way of the bureauâs mission.
In prepared testimony Wednesday, Christopher Wray will tell senators that he wonât allow the FBIâs work âto be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice.â
He also is pledging his loyalty to the Constitution and to the rule of law. He says heâll follow that commitment âno matter the test.â
Wray is appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for a confirmation hearing. He was selected to replace James Comey, who was fired by Trump in May.
FBI directors are appointed to 10-year terms.
Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is signaling his support for President Donald Trumpâs nominee for FBI director.
Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, says Christopher Wray has an âimpressive legal careerâ and seems qualified for the demanding job of leading the nationâs top law enforcement agency.
Grassley says itâs vital for the FBI director to be independent. And he says Wrayâs record shows he is committed to independence.
Wray faces questions Wednesday during his confirmation hearing before the committee. Some lawmakers will want reassurances that Wray will keep a boundary line between the White House. Their concerns come after Trump is said to have asked former Director James Comey for a loyalty pledge before firing him in May.
Grassley says Wray enjoys bipartisan support.
President Donald Trumpâs pick to lead the FBI faces a confirmation hearing Wednesday that will undoubtedly focus on the political tumult surrounding his nomination.
Both Democrats and Republicans will want assurances of Christopher Wrayâs independence from the White House. And they will want to know how he would operate under a president who is said to have demanded loyalty from Comey and who has appeared insensitive to the boundary between the White House and the FBI.
Wrayâs nomination comes after Trump abruptly fired the former director, James Comey, amid an FBI investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.
Those close to Wray, a former top official in the Bush administrationâs Justice Department, say he will be a steady hand at a time of tumult.
This story has been corrected to show that Sen. Graham asked Christopher Wray whether Donald Trump Jr. should have agreed to the meeting with the Russian lawyer.
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