New England Senators Press FBI Nominee

Jul 12, 2017

President Trump's nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, faced questions Wednesday on Capitol Hill. In light of the ongoing investigation into Russian influences on the 2016 election, senators on the Judiciary Committee pressed hard on prosecutorial independence.

Rhode Island Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse asked Wray to confirm that "[he] will owe [his] duty of loyalty only to the Constitution and the rule of law" and to affirm that no one had "asked [him] otherwise."

"No, senator. No one has asked me for any loyalty oath and I wouldn't offer one," Wray replied.

If confirmed, Wray would replace fired FBI director James Comey, who testified last month that President Trump asked him for "loyalty." Trump has denied he tried to pressure Comey.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, also a Democrat, said he is counting on Wray to keep politics out of the bureau.

"I foresee a firestorm brewing that will threaten the FBI," he said. "And I'm going to support you because I do believe that you will provide the kind of independence and integrity that the FBI needs."

The investigation into Russian hacking was not the only focus of the hearing.

Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont asked Wray about Fourth Amendment protections for undocumented immigrants.

"Do you think, as FBI Director, that undocumented aliens in the United States have any protection whatsoever?"

"We need to be mindful of the civil liberties of all," Wray replied.