Trump FBI nominee says Russia probe is no witch hunt
By SADIE GURMAN and ERIC TUCKER
WASHINGTON’ Breaking with the president, the lawyer Donald Trump picked to lead the FBI declared Wednesday that he does not believe a special counsel investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign is a “witch hunt.”
Christopher Wray, the former high-ranking Justice Department official whom Trump nominated last month, also told senators at his confirmation hearing that he would never let politics get in the way of the bureau’s mission.
The FBI’s work will be driven only by “the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice,” he said, asserting his independence. “My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law. They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test.”
Trump has repeatedly derided as a “hoax” and a “witch hunt” an ongoing investigation by the FBI and Robert Mueller, the former FBI director selected in May as the special counsel to oversee the probe.
Wray, selected for the FBI job last month after Trump fired James Comey, made clear that he disagreed with the characterization.
“I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt,” he said under questioning from Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.
He pledged to lead the FBI “without regard to any partisan political influence” and said he would consider unacceptable any efforts to interfere with Mueller’s investigation.
After Trump dismissed Comey on May 9, the ex-FBI director said that the president had asked him to pledge his loyalty during a dinner at the White House months earlier. He also said Trump had encouraged him to end an investigation into the former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Wray said Trump made no demand for loyalty from him.
Wray, 50, would inherit the nation’s top law enforcement agency at […]