WASHINGTON – Nominee for FBI Director Christopher Wray faced the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee last week, earning unusually high praise from Minnesota Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar.
While many recent Senate confirmation hearings have been filled with heated questioning, Wray’s first appearance before the Judiciary Committee stayed surprisingly cordial. Democrats and Republicans alike appeared to be impressed with President Donald Trump’s nominee to fill former FBI Director James Comey’s position.
“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. Full stop,” Wray told lawmakers during the hearing. “My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law.”
Franken, who has made headlines for aggressively interrogating Trump’s cabinet nominees, was less combative with Wray. Franken asked Wray about Comey’s character and his reputation within the FBI, and whether or not Wray would be willing to come before the Senate periodically as FBI Director so the Senate can “exercise oversight.” Following the light questioning, Franken expressed support for the nominee, saying he was “very impressed” with Wray.
“Mr. Wray, I have been very impressed with our meeting. I’ve been impressed with your testimony here today,” Franken said during his questioning. “You’ve come here at a hard time. This is under very extraordinary circumstances, and I thank you for your willingness to take on this job, and looking around, I’m feeling that you’ve had a good hearing today, and best of luck to you.”
“Thank you, senator, that means a lot,” Wray said.
Klobuchar questioned Wray on a variety of subjects from sex trafficking to the role of FBI in helping local law enforcement. Minnesota’s senior senator echoed Franken’s sentiments, pledging her support for the nominee.
“You have a lot of support here. I am going to be supporting you, as a number of my colleagues are,” Klobuchar said. “As someone that has been in law enforcement, and believes that law enforcement has to have people in charge that follow the law, and care about the law, and believe in our democracy more than anything. It couldn’t be a more important time for you to be coming into this agency.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has indicated he intends to have Wray confirmed before the August recess.