July 12, 2017

Whitehouse Statement on Wray Confirmation Hearing

Washington, DC – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement on today’s confirmation hearing for President Donald Trump’s pick for Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Christopher Wray:

“Christopher Wray fits the basic qualifications I announced for the next Director of the FBI:  he knows the Justice Department, he’s not a politician, and he has roots in law enforcement.  Those qualifications were on display today and much of his testimony was encouraging.  He discussed the importance of the Bureau’s independence and committed to protecting it.  He demonstrated a strong understanding of Justice Department norms on the disclosure of derogatory information and on FBI/DOJ boundaries.  He also recounted a moment when he stood up to the Bush administration as it tried to overstep its authority against the guidance of the Justice Department.  His actions during that episode speak well of him.

“Given the current moment, we need a Director who is able to withstand much more.  President Trump alarmingly asked Director Comey to pledge loyalty to him, not the rule of law.  We are still learning the extent to which Mr. Comey was cajoled and intimidated when the Bureau pursued a line of inquiry the President did not like, and we certainly know Mr. Comey’s fate.  I will continue to review his record, testimony, and responses to additional questions for the hearing record ahead of our vote, but I am heartened by Mr. Wray’s assurances to the Committee that he would keep the President at arm’s length and pursue the truth no matter how uncomfortable for the Administration.” 

Video of Whitehouse’s questioning of Wray is available here.


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