President Donald Trump seems to have chosen well in nominating former Justice Department criminal division head Christopher Wray as FBI director.
In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 12, Wray said Trump had not asked him for, nor had he offered, personal loyalty to the president. His only allegiance in the director’s post, if he is confirmed for it, would be to the Constitution and the rule of law. Wray said that if he were asked by the president to do something unlawful, he would first try to talk him out of it, and, if that didn’t work, he would resign.
In June 2016, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya met with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. The younger Trump hoped the meeting would yield damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Asked about that meeting, Wray advised senators that the FBI should be told about such overtures from foreign parties.
That was the correct statement for him to make, one that suggests he will act in the best interests of the American people. His term in office is theoretically 10 years, although Trump fired his predecessor, James B. Comey, after less than four years, after asking him to back off the scrutiny of Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, in the midst of inquiries into links between Russia and the 2016 Trump election campaign.
If Wray is approved by the Senate, as it appears he will be, he will be stepping into a true political maelstrom in Washington. Comey’s predecessor, Robert S. Mueller III, is now special counsel assigned to investigate the Russia-Trump campaign issues.
Wray has useful background for his future mission, including as a federal prosecutor and assistant attorney general looking into money laundering, fraud and tax evasion. He is familiar with the activities of Russian organized crime in the United States, a subject that has not yet been explored as part of the inquiry into Russian interference in the U.S. elections last year. In Russia, government and organized crime are closely intertwined.
Having worked in George W. Bush’s Justice Department, Wray also is familiar with America’s vital anti-terrorism agenda at home and abroad, all of which would be valuable experience in his new post. Wray would serve the country well.
— Pittsburgh Post-Gazette