FBI director nominee Chris Wray vows independence at Senate hearing

Trump's nominee for FBI director arrives for confirmation hearing

The president announced his pick June 7 on Twitter, about a month after abruptly firing former chief, James Comey. At times slightly awkward, the performance demanded fully four and a half hours. President Trump in May fired director James Comey, who was investigating allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and high-ranking Russian officials. Wray's financial disclosure forms show he provided legal services to a number of large international corporations, including Johnson & Johnson, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Georgia-Pacific and SunTrust Banks He also provided legal services to Christie during the "Bridgegate" scandal in which two of the Republican governor's former associates were convicted of plotting to close down access lanes at the George Washington Bridge for nearly a week in 2013 in an act of political retribution.

"I've been there for Bob Mueller when he was director of the FBI", Durbin said.

Senators said the most important aspect of any new hire is that he or she can remain independent of the White House. "They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test".

And not one Republican on the Judiciary Committee appeared to have issues with Wray or his testimony.

"I have no reasons to doubt the conclusion of the intelligence committee", Wray responded.

Wray says he has no recollection of providing input on Bush-era Justice Department memos on the interrogation and detention of terror suspects.

This couldn't have been music to President Trump's ears, but especially after the revelations about his son's meeting in Trump Tower it's hard to believe that even this abnormal president would treat Wray the way he did Comey.

Durbin also spoke about Donald Trump Jr.'s controversial email exchange about meeting a Russian attorney, whom an acquaintance had claimed had damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

President Trump has taken stands for limiting abortion, but never has he or his administration suggested that violence against abortion clinics is anything less than criminal.

"Senator, I think Russia is a foreign nation that we have to deal with very warily", Wray replied.

"First I would try to talk him out of it", Wray said.

"I want you to be Dirty Harry with the bad guys", Kennedy said, referring to a famous fictional police officer played by Clint Eastwood.

"Should I call the FBI?".

GRAHAM: You're going to be the director of the FBI bell.

"I don't want you to exhaust yourself trying to make political friends up here", Kennedy continued.

"Is Russia our friend or our enemy?" Given Comey's dismissal and ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, senators are expected to press Wray on his independence and integrity.