What to Expect at the FBI Nominee's Confirmation Hearing

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray sits during a meeting with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley on Capitol Hill in Washington U.S

Wray is facing questions from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing and he made his pledge of loyalty to the Constitution and to the law more generally in prepared testimony published online just as the hearing was getting underway. Wray's testimony comes one day after Donald Trump Jr. released emails from previous year arranging a meeting with a Russian lawyer to discuss what was to be "high level and sensitive information" that was allegedly a "part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump" during the presidential campaign.

Initially, Trump cited a letter from the deputy attorney general detailing Comey's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

He also appeared to distance himself from the U.S. president's characterisation of the Robert Mueller investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russian Federation in the 2016 presidential election as a "witch hunt".

Comey previously told the same committee Trump pressed him in a one-on-one session to drop the FBI investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn's ties to Russian Federation. "My commitment is to the rule of law, to the constitution, to follow the facts wherever they would lead".

If confirmed, Wray would replace James Comey, who was sacked by President Trump while leading the FBI's investigation into Russia's interference into the 2016 presidential election.

Comey has sworn before the Senate that Trump in private told him "I need loyalty, I expect loyalty".

Feinstein says she wonders, "Will Mr. Wray and the FBI pursue investigations with independence and vigor, regardless of who may be implicated?"

Comey said his firing came after Trump repeatedly asked for his loyalty and suggested the FBI drop an investigation into Michael Flynn, the president's first national security adviser.

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Wray was nominated after Comey was sacked two months ago.

Senators questioning Wray wanted to be assured that he will be unbiased especially if asked for a pledge of loyalty as his predecessor, fired FBI Director James Comey, was allegedly asked by Trump.

"This is proof positive that the Trump campaign was willing to work with the Russians", Graham said.

Wray is running into new questions about Russia's interference in the U.S. elections as a political storm has swept up around Trump's eldest son.

"I think Russian Federation is a foreign nation that we have to deal with very warily", responded Wray. "As such, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation must be a leader who has the integrity and strength that will enable him to withstand any attempts at political interference". He served the government at a time when harsh interrogation techniques were approved within the Justice Department for terror suspects captured overseas, though Wray said he was never involved in signing off on those methods. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

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.

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

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