Durbin Announces Support For FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray

WASHINGTON – In a statement in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, expressed deep concern over the recent comments made by President Trump to the New York Times in regards to the Russia investigation.  He also stressed that he is supporting Christopher Wray, the nominee to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), because of his qualifications and his commitment to serve as an independent director who will respect the rule of law.

Mr. Wray was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20-0.

“The statements made by the president yesterday to the New York Times have shaken me and many people across America. He once again made it clear that he dismissed James Comey because the Russian investigation was getting to close to home.  He criticized his own Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself, making it very clear that he would have expected Attorney General Sessions to put an end to this investigation,” said Durbin.  “And now what happens next as members close to the president, his own Administration, and his family are being asked critical questions?  Will the president move again to try to dismiss Mr. Mueller, the Special Counsel?  Will he do his best to try to end the investigation of the FBI?  Will Attorney General Sessions be complicit if he moves in that direction?” 

Durbin continued: “We don’t know the answers to those questions, but I will tell that we are at the doorstep of a constitutional crisis in this country.  We have to establish the independence and credibility of our Department of Justice.  We have to make it clear that no one in this country, including the President of the United States, is above the law.  If there is an attempt to obstruct justice, people in Congress and across the country have a responsibility to speak out.  I thought the testimony of Mr. Wray was explicit that he will not be party to that. I take him at his word and that is why I’m going to support his nomination.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks in the Senate Judiciary Committee is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks in the Senate Judiciary Committee is available here. 

Footage of Durbin’s remarks in the Senate Judiciary Committee is available here for TV stations.

On July 11, 2017, Durbin met with Mr. Wray to discuss his nomination to be FBI Director and an array of key issues, including his thoughts on Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, Department of Justice (DOJ) funding for Chicago, criminal justice reform, Mr. Wray’s role in the George W. Bush era “torture memos”, and the relationship between the FBI and the American-Muslim community.  On July 12, 2017, Durbin questioned Mr. Wray in front of the full Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Christopher Wray was born in New York City and earned his B.A. and J.D. from Yale.  He clerked for Fourth Circuit Judge J. Michael Luttig in Richmond, Virginia, and then began his career as an associate at King & Spalding LLP in Atlanta before becoming an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Northern District of Georgia from 1997-2001.  He next served as an Associate Deputy Attorney General and as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General in the Justice Department.  He became the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division in 2003.  He headed the Criminal Division until 2005, and then returned to private practice at King & Spalding where he has remained since.