Trump's Pick To Head FBI Faces Questions Over Loyalty, Russia

FBI director nominee Wray earned $9.2 million in law practice last year

LIVE STREAM: Christopher Wray Senate Confirmation Hearing

Questions about Wray's ability to be an independent leader, resistant to political pressures, are expected to dominate his hearing Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee to become the FBI's eighth director.

Wray said Wednesday that it would be "highly unlikely" that he'd ever meet with Trump one-on-one.

Comey later testified that President Trump said, "I need loyalty" and "I expect loyalty" during a private dinner between the two in January - a conversation he said included discussion of the director's continued employment, which Trump has denied.

U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, sought to pin down his stance with respect to questionable statements made by Trump, who has, for instance, called the Mueller probe a "witch hunt".

Christopher Wray said in his confirmation hearing that he does not consider the investigation into whether Trump's team colluded with Russian Federation during the campaign a "witch hunt". Wray comes to the hearing with significant bipartisan support; former Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat, will formally introduce him to the Judiciary Committee. Period. Full stop. My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law.

Comey has also stated that Trump asked him for promises of loyalty - questions about which will likely be asked of Wray today.

WRAY: Well, Senator, I would think you'd want to consult with some good legal advisers before you did it.

Sen. Linsday Graham (R-S.C.) questioned Federal Bureau of Investigation director nominee Christopher Wray about the recent news surrounding Donald Trump Jr. on July 12, and criticized the president's son for not calling the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Trump thinks Comey was a "nut job;" Wray doesn't: "In all my dealing with Jim Comey, he was a terrific lawyer, a dedicated public servant and a wonderful colleague". He specifically drew the line on Trump trying to interfere with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian meddling and the president's alleged attempts to obstruct justice. Afterward, Trump tweeted that he was "being investigated for firing the Federal Bureau of Investigation director by the man who told me to fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation director". The emails showed the Republican president's son agreeing past year to meet a woman he was told was a Russian government lawyer who might have damaging information about Democratic White House rival Hillary Clinton as part of Moscow's official support for his father. "I'm not sure it's going to be a nice life", Hatch told Wray during the hearing.

GRAHAM: Let me ask you this.

"Sen. Feinstein, I did not discuss those topics at all with anyone in the White House", Wray said.

When Christopher Wray hired a new deputy at Justice Department headquarters in the summer of 2003, he issued a warning: There could come a moment when they might have to resign rather than carry out an order that violated their sense of the law.

Mr. Wray's views on the F.B.I.'s use of surveillance tools and encryption could be examined, too.

Additionally, Wray listed three "confidential clients" whose "names can not be disclosed because they are subject to non-public investigations". He also represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the so-called Bridgegate investigation of politically motivated traffic delays in 2013. He first asked Wray if he had been approached by anyone in the White House on the question of loyalty to Trump.

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