Trump's FBI Nominee: Russia Investigation Isn't a 'Witch Hunt'
Christopher Wray, Donald Trump’s nominee to replace James Comey as head of the FBI, testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing. Wray conducted himself well, as one would expect for an individual with his degree of career experience in both government and private sector employment. The most significant issue he was pressed to address was his ability to maintain political impartiality in an obviously politically partisan environment with the intelligence community plagued by leaks.
At one point, Wray was asked if a loyalty oath had been proposed to him, clearly a reference to Comey’s testimony that Trump requested he do so. Wray responded, “No one has asked me for any loyalty oath and I wouldn’t offer one. … My loyalty is to the Constitution, the Rule of Law and the mission of the FBI.” Good answer.
Wray was also asked what he thought about the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. He said, “I do not consider Director [Robert] Mueller to be on a witch hunt.” He continued, “I would consider an effort to tamper with Director Mueller’s investigation to be unacceptable.” While we do believe the special investigation is indeed a Demo/MSM witch hunt, Wray doesn’t have the luxury of expressing his personal opinions. The FBI director’s job requires maintaining an independent position as strictly as possible, and that begins during confirmation hearings.
Comey utterly failed in maintaining that strict impartiality. And while he may not have been a partisan politician, he was overly concerned with the political impact of the FBI’s investigations into both Hillary Clinton and the Trump/Russian collusion conspiracy, which subsequently affected his impartiality.
All indications suggest that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle were pleased with Wray’s testimony and therefore there is little reason to believe that he will not be confirmed.