As the Senate Considers Christopher Wray as FBI Director: A Video and a Column

By Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes
Tuesday, July 11, 2017, 7:09 PM

The Senate Judiciary Committee hears from Christopher Wray—the President's nominee to head the FBI—tomorrow morning. In anticipation of the hearing, one of us made the following video about what the Senate should talk to Wray about. 

In addition, on our new Foreign Policy feed, we today posted our second column, which begins:

On Wednesday morning, Christopher Wray will face the Senate Judiciary Committee in a confirmation hearing to become the nation’s next FBI director. Wray is well qualified in every formal sense; he ran the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and he’s been a federal prosecutor in high-profile cases. But his nomination will face skepticism — and rightly so.

That’s because of the bizarre circumstances surrounding his appointment: namely, President Donald Trump’s campaign of pressure against, and abrupt dismissal of, Wray’s predecessor, James Comey, and the president’s particularly active interest in the Russia investigation, a matter in which he has multiple personal interests. Over at Lawfare, one of us has posted 20 questions the Judiciary Committee should pose to Wray, all aimed at exploring one broader issue: Will Wray be able to function independently on investigative matters from both the incumbent administration and Trump personally?

But Wray’s nomination raises other questions as well that senators will want to ponder and discuss with the nominee — questions both inherent in the nature of the position he seeks to fill and specific to the age of Trump. It will be up to the Senate, as much as Wray himself, to determine whether Trump will be permitted to change the very meaning of the job of FBI director.