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FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray's Senate hearing

13 July 2017

"I am very committed to supporting Director Mueller in the special counsel investigation in whatever way is appropriate for me to do that". The position is vacant only because James Comey was sacked over the FBI's investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign and associates.

"I believe to my core that there's only one right way to do this job", Wray said during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

David Cole, the national legal director of the ACLU, said Wray's responses to notices about mistreatment have been redacted, so it's not clear what, if anything, he did about the problems. During this upcoming confirmation process, we expect lawmakers to review Wray's record, and we hope he will disavow some of his more unsafe views on the government surveillance activities that we know to violate our core civil liberties.

According to financial disclosures, Mr. Wray has made $9.2 million since the beginning of 2016 as a partner with the law firm King & Spalding, where he has spent nearly 12 years with the firm, representing major corporations and also New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie. In his role as an attorney for the firm King and Spalding, the 50-year-old represented an energy executive being investigated by Russian officials.

In a dozen years of private law practice, Wray has built up a long list of clients, from major banks and corporations to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice, is now overseeing the federal Russian Federation probe.

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Christopher Wray should get a relatively easy ride through his Senate confirmation hearing, which starts at 9:30 am ET today and which will be broadcast live on C-SPAN. How does he intend to protect the probe's integrity?

In a terse round of questioning by Graham, the South Carolina Senator pressed Wray on what our relationship to Russian Federation should look like.

Ultimately it will be up to senators to ask the tough questions about how the administration will be treated.

At his confirmation hearing, senators were focused on questions of independence from the next Federal Bureau of Investigation head under the Trump administration. Trump announced his intent to do it in a tweet. That includes pressure to scrutinize the person the president has selected to replace Comey. He also said he has not spoken with anyone in the White House about the decision to fire Comey.

The committee's top two members - Sen.

Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee that the president asked for his loyalty, a request critics deemed inappropriate. Graham's question - in essence, do you agree with this completely asinine statement your future boss made? - certainly puts Wray in a tight spot.

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He also told Democratic Sen.

He also said he has never discussed Comey's firing with the White House.

"I don't know", Wray told Leahy.

Why does Wray think he was picked for the job? Wray was read into STELLARWIND in 2004 to address concerns that the government - in working to preserve the spying program's secrecy - was failing to disclose potentially exculpatory material to which criminal defendants were entitled under the Constitution. Comey earned under $200,000 annually in base salary as Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

Wray says no one in the Trump administration has asked for his loyalty and that he would not offer it, if asked. "The FBI director does not serve the president; he serves the Constitution and the law".

"Anyone who does would be making a very serious mistake".

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FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray's Senate hearing