Sunday, September 26, 2021

US Senate confirms Wray as new FBI director

Washington, Aug 1 (EFE).- The US Senate voted 92-5 on Tuesday to confirm Christopher Wray as director of the FBI, replacing James Comey, who was fired in May by President Donald Trump.

Wray will now head the national law enforcement agency pursuing an investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and the possible links between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

No surprises had been expected in the Senate vote, given that the Democrats, who are in the minority in the upper house, had expressed their support for Wray.

He “has the strength and fortitude to stand up and do what it is right when tested,” said the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, California Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “We need leaders with steel spines, not weak knees, and I am hopeful that Mr. Wray will be just such a leader.”

The investigation into Russian election meddling is being headed by special counsel Robert Mueller, an ex-FBI director who was named to the post by the Justice Department.

During the confirmation hearings, Wray defended his independence and respect for the Constitution.

“My commitment is to the rule of law, to the Constitution, to follow the facts wherever they may lead,” the 50-year-old Yale-trained attorney said before the Judiciary Committee. “And there isn’t a person on this planet whose lobbying or influence could convince (me) to just drop or abandon a properly predicated and meritorious investigation.”

“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 declared to the lawmakers.

When senators pressed him on what he would do if Trump asked him to do something unlawful, he said, “First I would try and talk him out of it, and, if that failed, I would resign.”