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Published: Thu, July 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

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

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

One of the questions at the front of senators' minds was whether Wray would be able to act independently of President Trump, especially in light of reports that the president had asked Comey to pledge his loyalty to him.

"My commitment is to the rule of law, to the constitution, to follow the facts wherever they would lead".

Mr Mueller, who was described by Mr Wray as "a straight shooter", is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation director who is now leading the special inquiry into alleged Russian attempts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election. Comey also testified that the president asked him for a loyalty pledge. I also want to thank Senator Nunn for his kind introduction. The emails showed the Republican president's son agreeing previous year 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 in the questionnaire that investigations he has handled while in private practice "have been both domestic and worldwide in scope and have ranged from targeted, discrete internal investigations to massive investigations across multiple components of global businesses in response to requests from multiple enforcement authorities". Trump has said his decision was at least in part due to the FBI's investigation into his campaign's ties to Russian election meddling. "And I sure as heck didn't offer one", he said. "I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt", Wray told Graham.

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

A Republican-headed Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings for Wray on Wednesday morning.

But for Wray, that question is even more dicey considering the circumstances in which Comey was sacked.

Wray's role as a Justice Department assistant attorney general managing the criminal division in 2003-2005 raised questions over his handling of allegations of torture at the notorious US-run Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Wray said he's not up to speed on DNA technology but would favor something that helps ensure the right people are prosecuted and the wrong people are not.

Before settling on Wray, Trump interviewed a number of politicians for the FBI job, alarming both agents at the agency and Democrats wary of what they call his past attempts to influence FBI investigations.

Wray also rejected Trump's characterization of Mueller's investigation as "the greatest Witch Hunt in political history".

So expect Wray to be asked a couple of times about his loyalties and independence.

The memos advised the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon and President Bush that interrogation techniques, like waterboarding and sleep deprivation, may be legally permissible under expanded presidential authority in light of the War on Terror. The closest his discussions came to Comey, Wray said, was during a conversation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Yet the hearing, the first public window into Wray's views since his selection, was largely devoid of fireworks in keeping with what friends and supporters have described as the nominee's low-key, disciplined style.

I am honored to be nominated by the President to lead the FBI and humbled by the prospect of working alongside the outstanding men and women of the Bureau.

Did you discuss Comey's performance or firing with anyone in the White House?

This story has been corrected to show that Sen.

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