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Tag: nominee

Trump’s FBI pick: Russia Probe Is No Witch Hunt, And Comey Is No ‘Nut Job’

Christopher Wray testifies during his confirmation hearing to become the next FBI director.

Christopher Wray testifies during his confirmation hearing to become the next FBI director.

If Donald Trump was hoping to find a loyalist or political puppet to replace fired FBI Director James Comey, the president nominated the wrong person.

Pledging he would resign before caving to political pressure, Christopher A. Wray was candid, direct and unafraid to challenge the president’s unsubstantiated attacks on the intelligence community during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice,” Wray testified. “Period. Full stop.”

Wray, a former senior Justice Department official also defended Comey and Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to investigate allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

To discredit the growing and evolving investigations, Trump routinely depicts intelligence officials as politically driven scrooges bent on driving him out of the White House. He’s called Comey a “nut job” and painted Mueller as an unscrupulous opportunist.

Wray defended them both.

“I have worked closely with Director Mueller in many past government services,” Wray testified. “I view him as a consummate straight-shooter and somebody I have enormous respect for.”

Wray’s firm insistence that he run the FBI without political influence appeared to convince many Democrats to support his nomination.

Embattled TSA Gets New Leader After Senate Approves Obama

Peter Neffenger

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The embattled TSA has a new leader.

The Senate confirmed Peter Neffenger on Monday with an 81-1 vote, hoping that strong leadership can improve nagging security problems at the nation’s airports, USA Today reports.

Neffenger used to serve as vice admiral of the Coast Guard.

The Senate criticized President Obama for taking too long to name a successor.

“I wish the White House hadn’t waited six months to send us a nominee to lead this troubled agency,” McConnell said. “The American people will be counting on Mr. Neffenger to validate the trust their elected representatives place in him tonight by pursuing every necessary reform in the wake of such troubling findings.”

Other Stories of Interest


Obama’s Nominee to Lead TSA Gets Advances After Senate Committee Approval

Peter Neffenger via YouTube

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama’s nominee to lead the TSA was approved by a Senate committee following the enforcement of the Commerce Committee less than two week earlier, Bloomberg reports.

The Senate Homeland Security Committee approved Coast Guard Vice Admiral Peter Neffenger on a voice vote.

The nomination comes at a strenuous period for the TSA, which recently was exposed for failing to spot weapons and other banned items in a vast majority of the test cases. The agency also has come under criticism for purchasing decisions, hiring practices and aggressive pat-downs.

If approved, Neffenger would replace former acting TSA Administrator Melvin Carraway.

 Other Stories of Interest


Sen. Judiciary Gives Nod to Deputy Atty. Gen. Nominee James Cole

James Cole/law firm

James Cole/law firm

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Deputy Attorney General nominee James Cole cleared a major hurdle Tuesday and got the nod from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the website Main Justice reported. The vote now goes before the full Senate.

The website reported that the vote was 12-7, along party lines.

Main Justice reported that GOP members had expressed concern about Cole’s support of terrorism trials in civilian court and his tenure as an independent monitor for insurance giant AIG, which was rescued by a Federal Reserve bail out.

“I’m concerned about Mr. Cole’s ability because in his position as Deputy Attorney General, he would be in a position to influence future compliance monitors appointed under settlements between Justice Department, [Securities and Exchange Commission] and other corporations that have violated the law,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), according to Main Justice.

A.G. Nominee Holder Repeatedly Pushed to Get 1999 Clemency for 16 Members of Violent Puerto Rican Nationalist Groups

Eric Holder may be one of the more low-key nominees in the Obama administration, but his confirmation hearing promises to be anything but low key.

Eric Holder/law firm photo

Eric Holder/law firm photo

By Josh Meyer and Tom Hamburger
Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON — Attorney general nominee Eric H. Holder Jr. repeatedly pushed some of his subordinates at the Clinton Justice Department to drop their opposition to a controversial 1999 grant of clemency to 16 members of two violent Puerto Rican nationalist organizations, according to interviews and documents.
Details of the role played by Holder, who was deputy attorney general at the time, had not been publicly known until now. The new details are of particular interest because Republican senators have vowed to revisit Holder’s role during his confirmation hearings next week.
Holder had no comment for this article, but a spokesman for President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team said Holder’s actions were appropriate.
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