The 6 toughest questions for the next FBI director – Politico


Christopher Wray is pictured. | AP Photo

One part of Christopher Wray’s record Democrats are sure to dissect: the four years he served at the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, primarily after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. | AP Photo

Christopher Wray’s confirmation hearing takes place as the Trump-Russia scandal deepens.

Christopher Wray faces a stark question from skeptics as he prepares to take on one of the toughest jobs in the Trump administration: Where does your loyalty lie?

The cloud of fired FBI Director James Comey will loom large over Wray’s confirmation hearing to replace him on Wednesday, as will the perpetual onslaught of revelations involving the federal probe into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

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“After Comey was fired, as the president said, to stop the Russia investigation, there are some fundamental questions that need to be asked about any director of the FBI,” Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview Tuesday. “Where is your commitment? Is your commitment to the law, or to the president who chose you?”

Wray, a lawyer and former Department of Justice official, can expect to be peppered with questions about whether he can be sufficiently independent from President Donald Trump and how he will handle the sensitive investigation that is dogging the Republican administration and distracting GOP-led Washington from accomplishing its ambitious policy agenda.

Here are six key questions Wray is likely to face during his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

Does your loyalty lie with the president who nominated you?

Wray confronts the same high-wire balancing act that other Trump picks, including Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, faced during their hearings: demonstrating his independence from Trump without alienating him.

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