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Tag: FBI director

Christopher Wray Sworn in As Eighth FBI Director in Bureau’s History

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Christopher Wray became the eighth director of the FBI following a swearing-in ceremony at the Justice Department in Washington on Wednesday.

“It is the honor of a lifetime to serve as Director,” Wray said in a statement Wednesday. “I long ago grew to know and admire the FBI from my earliest days as a line prosecutor to my years as assistant attorney general. I am excited, humbled, and grateful, therefore, to have this chance to work side-by-side again with these fine professionals for the good of the country and the cause of justice.”

The Senate confirmed President Trump’s nomination of Wray earlier this week, with five Democrats voting no.

“Chris has the experience and the strength of character that the American people want in an FBI Director,” said Attorney General Sessions, adding that he looked forward to working with Wray every day to keep the country safe.

Bound To Be An Interesting Read: Fired FBI Director Comey to Write Book for Spring Release

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

Less than three months after he was fired by President Trump, former FBI Director James Comey has a book deal.

Flatiron Books told the Associated Press on Wednesday that Comey’s book will focus on leadership and decision-making and write about his experience as head of the FBI, from his handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation to investigating allegations of collusion between Trump’s administration and Russia. 

Flatiron said Comey will cite “examples from some of the highest-stakes situations in the past two decades of American government” and “share yet-unheard anecdotes from his long and distinguished career.”

The book, which doesn’t yet have a title, is scheduled to be released next spring.

“Throughout his career, James Comey has had to face one difficult decision after another as he has served the leaders of our country,” Flatiron Publisher and President Bob Miller said in a statement. “His book promises to take us inside those extraordinary moments in our history, showing us how these leaders have behaved under pressure. By doing so, Director Comey will give us unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in leadership itself.”

Only 5 Senators Voted Against the Nominee for FBI Director Since 1973

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Since the Senate began voting on nominees for FBI director in 1973, only one senator cast a no vote – until Tuesday.

That’s when five Democrats objected to the confirmation of Christopher Wray to replace fired FBI Dire tor James Comey.

The final vote was 92-5. Voting no were Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden.

The only other nominee for FBI director to receive a no vote was Comey in 2013, when Sen. Rand Paul objected, according to CNN

The bureau’s first director, J. Edgar Hoover, was not subjected to a Senate vote, and he held the position for nearly 48 years.

House Democrats: Give FBI Director Authority to Reject Security Clearance for White House Staff

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI director would have the authority to reject security clearance for White House staff it there is a national security risk under a measure introduced by a group of House Democrats.

More than 20 Democrats have expressed support for the bill, called the Security Clearance Review Act, the Hill reports

The measure is in response to serious questions raised about the security clearance of President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who is accused of colluding with Russian officials to interfere with the presidential election.

Donald Trump’s refusal to hold his senior staff accountable for their deceptions on Russia have sadly made this legislation necessary,” said Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., who co-sponsored the bill. “Despite all we have learned about his secret meetings with Russians, Jared Kushner apparently continues to hold his clearance.”

Trump Reinvents History by Saying FBI Director Should Report Directly to President

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Showing a disdain or ignorance of the FBI’s independence, President Trump suggested the bureau’s next director should report directly to him during a wide-ranging interview with the New York Times

Trump cited some alternative history by suggesting that the FBI director began reporting to the Justice Department while Richard Nixon was president.

“The FBI person really reports to the president of the United States,” Trump said in what clearly is an untrue statement.

The FBI’s website states, “Within the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI is responsible to the attorney general, and it reports its findings to U.S. Attorneys across the country. The FBI’s intelligence activities are overseen by the Director of National Intelligence.”

Trump suggested “there was nothing official, there was nothing from Congress” that requires the director to report to the Justice Department.

“There was nothing — anything. But the FBI person really reports directly to the president of the United States, which is interesting. You know, which is interesting. And I think we’re going to have a great new FBI director.”

Trump’s comments raise questions about his expectation of his nominee for FBI director, Christopher Wray.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Trump Chooses Well with FBI Director Nominee Wray

Christopher Wray

Christopher Wray

By Editorial Board
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

President Donald J. Trump seems to have chosen well in nominating former Justice Department criminal division head Christopher A. Wray as FBI director.

In his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee  on July 12, Mr. Wray said Mr. 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. Mr. 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 Mr. Trump hoped the meeting would yield damaging information about Hillary Clinton. Asked about that meeting, Mr. 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 Mr. 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. 

To read more click here. 

Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote Next Week on FBI Director

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Christopher Wray’s nomination to FBI director.

Committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he was impressed with Trump’s pick and wanted to move swiftly.

The committee vote is scheduled for July 20.

If approved, Wray would replace James Comey, whom President Trump fired amid an investigation into Russian interference with the presidential election.

Democrats on the committee indicated they support Wray’s nomination, but it’s unclear whether they plan to delay the vote.

During his nomination hearing earlier this week, Wray pledged independence and said he would resign before succumbing to political pressure.

Trump’s Pick for FBI Director to Face Tough Questions During Confirmation Hearing Today

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s nominee for FBI director, Christopher A. Wray, will face a host of challenging questions Wednesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing.

Christopher A. Wray

Christopher A. Wray

And the timing couldn’t be worst.

Wray’s testimony comes in the thick of an increasingly evolving investigation by the Justice Department and congressional members into whether Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russia in an attempt to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning.

Adding pressure to that investigation is the recent revelation that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer who the president’s son was told wanted to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning.

Senators are expected to grill Wray, a former federal prosecutor in President George Bush’s administration, about his opinions of the investigation.

Since Trump admitted in a TV interview that he fired then-FBI Director James Comey over what the president called a “witch hunt” to destroy his political career, senators also are expected to question how Wray plans to deal with Trump’s interference in federal investigations.

The 50-year-old nominee, who spent years as a high-powered defense lawyer who represented Trump loyalist and New Jersey’s governor, Chris Christie.

Veterans law enforcement officials who have worked with Wray described him as an objective, fair legal mind who isn’t easily influenced by political pressure.