On Wednesday morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee grilled the man President Donald Trump tapped to lead the FBI: former federal prosecutor Christopher Wray.
Wray, if confirmed, will take the position previously held by James Comey, who Trump fired in May after he refused to pledge loyalty to the president or to drop the ongoing federal investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
On Wednesday, Wray assured the committee that despite the circumstances of his nomination, he will remain independent from the White House.
“If I am given the honor of leading this agency,” he said. “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. Period.”
Wray went on to emphasize that his only loyalty is to “the Constitution and the rule of law.”
“They have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test.”
Later, under questioning from committee chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Wray promised “strict independence” and quipped: “Anybody who thinks I will be pulling punches as FBI director sure doesn’t know me very well.”
When asked by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) what he would do if the president asked him to do something illegal, Wray answered: “I would try to talk him out of it, and if that failed, I would resign.”