president’s pick to lead the FBI says unlike Donald Trump
he does not believe the federal investigation into Russia’s role in the US presidential election is a “witch hunt.”
During his testimony at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Christopher Wray contradicted Trump’s description of the probe, saying that he does not consider special counsel Robert Mueller – now in charge of the investigation – to be on a witch hunt.
Calling the probe a witch hunt, Trump has defended his son Donald Trump Jr. who has been implicated in it over a series of 2016 emails released on Tuesday. The emails showed the president’s son had agreed last year to meet a Russian woman he was told was a government lawyer who has damaging information about Democratic White House rival Hillary Clinton.
Answering specific questions from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham about the president’s son’s emails and Russia’s alleged meddling in the elections, Wary said, “Any threats or effort to interfere with our election from any nation-state or any non-state actor is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know.”
“I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt,” Wray told Graham. Wray noted he was “very committed” to supporting Mueller’s investigation, and called him a “consummate straight shooter and somebody I have enormous respect for.”
Fifty-year-old Wary also repeatedly tried to reassure lawmakers that the bureau would maintain independence from the White House under his leadership, giving his word that he would not let politics
get in the way of the FBI’s mission.
He said he would resign if asked to do anything unlawful. “First, I would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, then I would resign.” “Anybody who thinks I would be pulling punches as the FBI director sure doesn’t know me very well,” he said earlier.
“I think the relationship between any FBI director and any president needs to be a professional one, not a social one… And there certainly shouldn’t be any discussion between the FBI director and any president about how to conduct particular investigations or cases,” he added.
Wray, a former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, was selected for the job last month after Trump’s controversial firing of James Comey.
This combination of pictures shows a file photo US President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey.
Trump fired Comey as he was busy heading an investigation into the Republican president’s ties with the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign and transition.
The dismissed director of the bureau, who has kept his detailed notes of his conversations with Trump, was apparently pressured by him to let go of the ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn, in the probe. Despite Trump’s denial on Russia ties, the FBI probe on the issue is continuing.