Senate confirms new FBI director Christopher Wray

Senate confirms new FBI director Christopher Wray
Christopher Wray will be the next director of the FBI, as the Senate has confirmed his nomination in a bipartisan vote. President Donald Trump has accused the acting FBI director Andrew McCabe of having close ties to Hillary Clinton.

The Tuesday vote tally was 92 to 5.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, noted before the Tuesday floor vote that she was encouraged by Wray's testimony against waterboarding, stress positions, forced nudity and mock executions, which he said constituted torture.

Wray's independence and the rule of law, however, “sadly will likely be tested by this administration,” Feinstein said, alluding to the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Wray, 50, was the US assistant attorney general for the criminal division from 2003 to 2005 under former President George W. Bush.

Wray's nomination was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on July 20. During that hearing, Senator Sam Nunn (D-Georgia) described Wray as someone with an “unwavering commitment to the rule of law.”

Senators had asked Wray if he would be an independent law enforcer or one tied to his boss.

“Nobody asked me for a loyalty oath, and I didn’t offer one,” Wray said multiple times, adding, “My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law.”

Trump announced the impending nomination of Wray on June 7, about one month after firing James Comey.

Late last month, Trump accused acting FBI director Andrew McCabe of being too close to Hillary Clinton, citing McCabe's wife's run for a Virginia State Senate seat supported by Clinton associates.

During his committee hearing, Wray denied reports that he had reviewed a 2004 Department of Justice memorandum on enhanced interrogation techniques, or torture. He also said that “torture is wrong, it’s unacceptable, it’s illegal, and I think it’s ineffective.”

Wray also made a point to credit Muslim-Americans with providing “some of the best leads we ever got.”