Washington, July 13 (IANS) Christopher Wray, who has been nominated to be the next director of the FBI, told the Senate during his first confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he would uphold the Constitution and ensure the federal law enforcement agency’s independence.
“The role of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FBI director needs to be one that is independent of partisan politics,” Wray said, Efe news reported.
“I believe to my core that there is only one right way to do this job, and that is with strict independence, by the book, playing it straight, faithful to our Constitution, faithful to our laws, faithful to the best practices of the institution,” the 50-year-old Wray said.
In May, President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who later alleged that the president had asked him for a pledge of personal loyalty.
“No one asked me for any kind of loyalty oath during this process, and I would sure as heck not offer one,” Wray said in response to questions from senators.
“My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law,” Wray said.
Wray led the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division between 2003 and 2005 under President George W. Bush. At the time, Comey was deputy attorney general.
This was the first hearing on Wray’s nomination to become FBI director and started a day after Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., released an email chain showing his interest in obtaining from suspected Russian sources information harmful to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The president has described the investigation of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election as “the greatest witch hunt in history.”
Wray told senators that he did not consider the investigation, which is being led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a “witch hunt”.