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Tag: FBI director

Trump’s Nominee for FBI Director to Face Tough Questions about His Past

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s safe to say President Trump’s nominee for FBI director, Christoper Wray, will face tough rounds of questions during his confirmation hearing before the Senate.

After all, some senators and legal experts have accused the president of obstructing justice by firing former director James Comey in retaliation for investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert Mueller and his high-powered team of lawyers is investigating those very allegations.

Wray, whom Trump called “a man of impeccable credentials,” is likely to be hammered about why he removed from his law firm’s website in January the fact that he represented an undisclosed American energy executive who was under criminal investigation by the Russian government. 

Wray’s law firm, King & Spalding, represents the Russian energy firm Rosneft, which has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the International Business Times reports

Wray also is likely to be grilled about his representation of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a longtime Trump supporter, in the Bridgegate scandal. Christie has declined to say whether he recommended Wray to Trump.

And several civil liberties advocates are expressing concerns about Wray.

“Christopher Wray’s firm’s legal work for the Trump family, his history of partisan activity, as well as his history of defending Trump’s transition director during a criminal scandal makes us question his ability to lead the FBI with the independence, even-handed judgment, and commitment to the rule of law that the agency deserves,” American Civil Liberties Union National Political Director Faiz Shakir said in a statement.

Trump Officially Nominates Wray to Replace Ousted FBI Director

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has officially nominated Christopher Wray to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey.

The White House on Monday sent its formal nomination of Wray to the Senate, which will decide whether to approve the nomination.

Wray, a former assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, released a statement through the Justice Department, touting his experience working with federal investigators.

“From my earliest days working with agents as a line prosecutor to my time working with them at the Department of Justice in the aftermath of 9/11, I have been inspired by the men and women of the FBI – inspired by their professionalism, integrity, courage, and sacrifice for the public.” Wray said. 

“If confirmed, it will be a privilege and honor to once again work with them.  America faces grave threats both here and abroad, and the FBI, in concert with its federal, state, and local partners, continues to work steadfastly to prevent and hold accountable those responsible for these threats.” 

Trump’s termination of Comey has led to allegations that the president tried to obstruct justice to end the Russia-related investigation. 

McCabe: FBI Providing Mueller with ‘a Great Number of Folks’ from Bureau

Acting FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

Acting FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The acting head of the FBI told Congressional members that the bureau is providing special counsel Robert Mueller with a substantial number of personnel to investigate alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who replaced James Comey when President Trump fired him under suspicious circumstances on May 9, told the House Appropriations Subcommittee that Mueller will have plenty of resources to conduct the investigation, which includes possible ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign, Politico reports

“We have a great number of folks that have already been detailed to that team and I have assured Director Mueller that we will do everything necessary to deliver the resources and meet the needs that he has to do that work,” McCabe said.

Last week, Mueller’s office announced that it had added 13 lawyers to the team investigating Russian influence.

McCabe also said he never felt comfortable talking to Trump

FBI Refuses to Release Comey’s Trump Memos to Media Because of Ongoing Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has declined Freedom of Information Act requests from several media outlets asking for copies of the memos that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote following President Trump’s one-on-one meetings with the bureau boss before he was terminated.

Comey revealed the existence of the memos when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

Those memos could be critical evidence to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey and allegedly directing him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In denying the FOIA request, the FBI responded that the records were exempt from disclosure because of “pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to those responsive records, and the release of the information in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Trump’s Nominee for FBI Director Still Represents Gov. Christie in Bridgegate Scandal

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Even after President Trump nominated Christopher Wray for the new FBI director post, the attorney continues to work as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s personal attorney in connection with the Bridgegate investigation, trial and aftermath.

Wray, whose law firm has collected $2.1 million from New Jersey taxpayers, never stopped his legal work seven months after two of the governor’s former aides were found guilty of conspiring to shut down George Washington Bridge access lanes, the Asbury Park Press reports. 

Trump nominated Wray on June 7 after the president fired James Comey as the FBI’s director.

A hearing has yet to be set on Wray’s confirmation.

Wray is collecting $340 an hour.

Christie, a Trump adviser, has a close relationship with Wray and said the attorney who “would provide great leadership at the FBI.”

But Christie continues to evade questions about his role in Wray’s nomination.

“I don’t talk about what advice I give to the president of the United States,” Christie said.

Trump Interviewed Mueller for FBI Director Job Before Special Counsel Appointment

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump met with former FBI Director Robert Mueller to ask if he’d want to become the bureau’s top boss again, just a day or two before Mueller was appointed special counsel over the investigation into Russia meddling with the presidential election.

The discussion between Trump and Mueller was revealed by Trump friend and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy in an interview on PBS’ “NewsHour” Monday evening. 

Ruddy said the president “was looking at (Mueller) potentially to become the next FBI director. That hasn’t been published but it’s true.”

Mueller haws served 12 years as FBI director.

Now Ruddy and other Trump allies are saying Mueller shouldn’t have accepted the special counsel job because of his recent discussion with Trump.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday that Trump interviewed Mueller for the top FBI job.

In Ruddy’s interview with PBS, he suggested the president should fire Mueller as special counsel.

President Trump to James Comey: ‘I Need Loyalty, I Expect Loyalty’

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fired FBI Director James B. Comey’s message to Capitol Hill is becoming clear. Now, the question is: What will be the fallout for the president?
In written remarks submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday ,  a day before he’s scheduled to testify, Comey writes that President Donald  Trump told him at a private White House dinner in January, “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty.’’
Comey said the president called him at lunchtime on Jan. 27 to invite him to dinner.
“It was unclear from the conversation who else was going to be at the dinner, although I assumed there would be others,’’ Comey wrote. “It turned out to be just the two of us, seated at a small oval table in the center of the Green Room. Two Navy stewards waited on us, only entering the room to serve food and drinks.’’
On Wednesday, the release of the remarks became fodder for debate on cable TV news stations on whether President Trump obstructed justice or set himself up for impeachment.

Trump Chooses Christopher A. Wray As Next FBI Director to Replace Comey

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump announced this morning on Twitter that he will nominate Christopher A. Wray to be the next director of the FBI.

Wray, a Yale Law School graduate who was working as an attorney in the private sector, previously served as assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush.

Wray also was the attorney for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during the bridge scandal. Christie told NewJersey.com that he has “the utmost confidence in Chris.”

“I have the utmost confidence in Chris. He’s an outstanding lawyer. He has absolute integrity and honesty, and I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director,” Christie said Thursday. 

Christie declined to say whether he had a role in Trump’s decision.

Trump interviewed Wray for the job last week.

Among the other candidates for the top FBI job were Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-South Carolina and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. 

Trump was having trouble finding a new FBI chief, especially after news broke that bureau Director James Comey was pressured by Trump to pledge allegiance to the president and to end the Russia investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Comey is expected to testify Thursday before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Here is the Justice Department’s brief history on Wray:

Christopher Asher Wray was born in 1967. He graduated from Yale University in 1989 and received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992. He then clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. In 1993, Mr. Wray started working in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. In 1997, he joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia. In 2001, he served at Main Justice as an Associate Deputy Attorney General and, later, as Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General.