Christopher Wray, President Trump’s nominee to be the next director of the FBI, faced the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questions Wednesday at his first confirmation hearing.
Should he be confirmed, Wray pledged to practice integrity in his new role.
“My friends to this day, they taught me much about playing it straight and following the facts wherever they may lead.”
Those life lessons will follow him to the FBI, he said.
“If I am given the honor of leading this agency, I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period.
My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law. They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test.”
You can read Wray’s full opening statement here.
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.
First, however, came “softball” questions from Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The chairman wanted to know if Wray would indeed lead the FBI in a non-partisan manner, and whether he would be cooperative with congressional investigations.
“Anyone who thinks I would be pulling punches at FBI doesn’t know me very well,” Wray said.
He would also ensure the agency is “prompt” and “responsive” to respond to Congress’s oversight requests.
As for retaliation against whistleblowers, the nominee said that is “just wrong.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) used her time to ask Wray for his view on the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.
“My view is that torture is wrong and ineffective,” he said, adding that he will continue the policy that the FBI is going to play "no part" in the use of techniques of that sort.
This post will be updated.