Trump Picks Chris Wray to Lead the FBI

Donald Trump will nominate Christopher Wray, a former Deputy AG under GW Bush, for Director of the FBI.

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    And while Trump announced his nominee ... (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 01:50:30 PM EST
    ... to lead the FBI, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released to the media and general public tomorrow's opening statement of Wray's predecessor, James Comey:

    "Near the end of our dinner, the President returned to the subject of my job, saying he was very glad I wanted to stay, adding that he had heard great things about me from Jim Mattis, Jeff Sessions, and many others. He then said, 'I need loyalty.'  I replied, 'You will always get honesty from me.' He paused and then aaid, 'That's what I want, honest loyalty.' I paused, and then said, 'You will get that from me.' As I wrote in the memo I created immediately after the dinner, it is possible we understood the phrase 'honest loyalty' differently, but I decided it wouldn't be productive to push it further. The term - honest loyalty - had helped end a very awkward conversation and my explanations had made clear what he should expect."


    "The President then returned to the topic of Mike Flynn, saying, 'He is a good guy and has been through a lot.' He repeated that Flynn hadn't done anything wrong on his calls with the Russians, but had misled the Vice President. He then said, 'I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.  He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.' I replied only that 'he is a good guy.' (In fact, I had a positive experience dealing with Mike Flynn when he was a colleague as Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency at the beginning of my term at FBI.)  I did not say I would 'let this go.'" (Emphasis is mine.)

    One word: Wow.

    Sorry, Jeralyn, I didn't mean to step on ... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 02:04:00 PM EST
    ... the topic of this particular thread, but this release occurred at the same time that Trump made his announcement, which led me to believe that the White House timed the nomination of Christopher Wray as FBI director to divert immediate attention away from Comey's opening statement, and thus attempt to minimize the media buzz it would otherwise likely generate. Perhaps that statement deserves its own separate thread.

    Well, so much for diverting attention. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 09:59:03 PM EST
    Chistopher Wray's nomination has clearly been overshadowed by Comey's statement. Has anyone in MSNBC's prime-time lineup even mentioned it once?

    ODonnell is talking about it (none / 0) (#49)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 10:00:40 PM EST
    Right now.  Well about 20 minutes ago.  I'm on a delay.

    Wow is right. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 03:26:54 PM EST
    My reaction as well. This just further proof that this clown is nothing more than a wannabe tinpot third world dictator. He knows absolutely nothing about governing or the Constitution. Or service. American don't swear loyalty or fealty to any person. They are loyal to the Constitution and country.

    just to make sure we watch (none / 0) (#14)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:16:01 PM EST
    he only disscuses 5 0f the 9 meetings.

    favorite detail (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:18:31 PM EST
    Trump: "I never had anything to do with h00kers in Russia"

    And, I didn't (none / 0) (#16)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:28:32 PM EST
    eat no cookies, Mom...said the boy holding the empty cookie jar.

    as someone famously once said (none / 0) (#17)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:29:55 PM EST
    he better hope there are no recordings

    Cheeto does seem really (none / 0) (#19)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:47:15 PM EST
    concerned with the Steele dossier.

    actually my new favorite this is (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 06:32:17 PM EST
    wouldnt you be (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:48:45 PM EST
    and you are not even president

    Christopher Wray's History (none / 0) (#3)
    by KD on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 02:32:51 PM EST

    Link (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by KD on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 02:37:08 PM EST
    Link (none / 0) (#4)
    by KD on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 02:34:53 PM EST
    From Empty Wheel


    Sorry I couldn't make the link (none / 0) (#59)
    by KD on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 11:24:12 AM EST
    ...for some reason, but there were several sources. 1. The FOIA-obtained ACLU files have totally redacted memos from Wray. So he was involved in some way with advising on Bush Administration torture. 2. Wray briefed Ashcroft inappropriately on the Valerie Plame investigation, forcing Ashcroft to later recuse himself.

    No relation to Link Wray, I take it? (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 02:41:25 PM EST

    Or Fay Wray? (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 02:54:47 PM EST
     "Just before he dies, he reaches toward me, but can't quite reach."

    Trump probably fantasizes (none / 0) (#8)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 03:04:10 PM EST
    about hauling a struggling woman to the top of Trump Tower

    Yesterday's story suggesting an effort (none / 0) (#9)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 03:16:33 PM EST
    to get the CIA and DNI to intervene with the FBI to "back off" the Russia investigation, if true, would be grounds for impeachment. And would correspond quite closely to one of the most damning articles of impeachment against Nixon (Article I, points 4 & 6).

    During the Senate Intel Committee (none / 0) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 03:41:56 PM EST
    hearing, Senator McCain (not a member, but sitting in as representing the Senate Armed Services Committee), brought up the WaPo story and asked for comments from Director Coates. Coates avoided any direct response on "the integrity of the WaPo reporting," saying that matters are not always reported accurately.

     McCain, of course, huffed and puffed a bit, about not being able to talk about classified material that was in print, even this material that was very specific and detailed.  No question, however, about is it, or any parts, true or false.

    Coates and Admiral Rogers stonewalled, despite acknowledging no legal basis for refusing to answer (other than initial statement worked out in advance by, reportedly, Senator Cotton, a WH guest for dinner last evening).  No executive privilege and did not talk to Mueller. No Fifth Amendment.  Just did not "feel" it was appropriate at this hearing. They all seemed sweaty, incoherent, and huffy.  When all was not said and they were done, no denials.


    an across the board refusal to answer (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:51:37 PM EST
    its self seems like an answer or sorts

    Admiral Rogers (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 05:12:54 PM EST
    "can't recall any pressure,"   somehow pressure, or actually, asking (as the questions were phrased) by the president to blunt, thwart or otherwise derail an investigation into the president or his team is something an intelligence officer would recall.  If the Admiral's recall capabilities are so challenged, or his conversations with the president are so dim, he should be looking for another line of work.  Such as returning as an Ensign to the destroyer, as he so disingenuously claimed as the place he wanted to be.

    I found Rogers to be the worst of the lot. Coats, I expected to be shifty, and he did not disappoint. McCabe and Rosenstein both seemed rattled.  But, Rogers was scornful and disrespectful, e.g. in response to Senator Angus King...." I am not interested in repeating myself, senator.  King wasn't having it...I do mean to be confrontational, why won't you answer the question.


    agree about Rogers (none / 0) (#23)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 05:30:36 PM EST
    the ability to "recall" always seems to be a problem in these things.  it did seem the unified wall of republican resistance seemed to be cracking.

    i guess its better to speak in a closed session and have it leaked.  that way it doesnt effect your cocktail party invites


    Watching Rachel (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:14:19 PM EST
    Rogers snuck to Trump Tower trying to lobby for the DIA job during the transition. Didn't tell his current CIC Obama he was taking a personal day either to sneak to Manhattan and stroke Trump. Didn't get the job, Trump never gives suckers like that the job they are stroking him for. Rogers is dirty as hell. And appears to be utterly in Contempt of Congress now.

    Under President Trump the reputation of the US military is taking a hell of a hit between Rogers, McMaster, and Kelly.


    Well (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:18:53 PM EST
    That would be my assessment

    But I saw my man Clint Watts offer an interesting defense today.  He has hardly been a cheerleader.

    He said speaking about the hearing today that they just saw Trump fire Comey and they might be trying to keep their jobs in order to try to protect the country.  From Trump.  And that the things they were being asked will come out eventually.

    Made a strange kind if sense to me.  And I don't think it was just because I think Clint is hot.


    But not (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:58:38 PM EST
    just because he was hot.

    Being hot, though, helps, no?


    I missed all the Rogers stuff (none / 0) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:26:02 PM EST
    Cuz it was after the election. I just checked out for awhile. Went reading, Ash Carter wanted Rogers fired, Clapper wanted him fired, Rogers employees hate him, he doesn't keep proper work hours either, skips meetings, disrespectful to employees and their families, and sometimes on work days no one knows where he is.

    And (none / 0) (#38)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:27:45 PM EST
    These people know things we don't.  Clapper said today Watergate pales compared to what we are facing now.  

    It seemed clear to me those guys today has decided how they were going to answer.  And it was, as was pointed out at the hearing and many times since, extraordinary.  The senator were stunned.  

    I suspect the behind the scenes stuff would scare the livin sh!t out of us.  


    And Clapper wanted Rogers fired. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 09:22:29 PM EST
    "I cannot recall," more often than not, (none / 0) (#26)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 07:45:43 PM EST
    is simple perjury. It's just the false answer that witnesses most commonly imagine cannot be proven false.

    Can it be proven false? (none / 0) (#27)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 07:49:56 PM EST
    Absent some kind of solid evidence they do or have recalled.   Seems almost like proving a negative.

    Like many a fact that must be proven (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:49:10 PM EST
    in court, even beyond a reasonable doubt, lack of recollection can be proven by circumstantial evidence, filtered through common sense and experience. If twelve jurors are unanimously satisfied of this, the defendant will be convicted.

    And by "lack of recollection can be (none / 0) (#45)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 09:09:31 PM EST
    proven," of course, I meant "claimed lack of recollection can be disproven ...."

    Also Jeffery Toobin (none / 0) (#28)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 07:54:07 PM EST
    Who I never thought was the best authority, says the Comey statement establishes obstruction.

    Not asking for an essay or anything but do you agree?


    "Establishes" is too strong (5.00 / 4) (#44)
    by Peter G on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 09:02:44 PM EST
    "Stinks of" is more like it, to me.

    Seen a few others say this too. (none / 0) (#29)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:01:27 PM EST
    one former Watergate prosecutor who has been showing up on MSNBC .  Others disagree.  

    Whether it meets the technical (none / 0) (#32)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:08:24 PM EST
    requirements for a criminal charge of obstruction of justice is not the issue, imo.

    This is just like Watergate:  Nixon conspired to have the CIA stop an FBI investigation, and that spelled his doom.  So, what Trump has done in trying to stop an FBI investigation is a high crime or misdemeanor under the Constitution.  Trump should be impeached.

    But the GOP does not care.    


    I think they might be (none / 0) (#33)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:12:18 PM EST
    Starting to care.  A little.

    Still one was just on with Chris Hayes who might as well have had his fingers in his going LALALALALA

    So, yeah.


    Dershowitz says no (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:05:05 PM EST
    He echoes an old Nixon comment:  If the President does it, it is not illegal."

    Dershowitz says Trump as head of the Executive has the ability to stop FBI investigations, Watergate be damned.  

    But Dershowitz is attacking a straw-man:  most agree a sitting President cannot be criminally charged.   The issue is whether what Trump has done is an impeachable offense, and even Dershowitz agrees.  So, the Dershowitz defense is irrelevant.


    I will spare you from my (none / 0) (#31)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:08:22 PM EST
    Pet name for him that links him to hygiene

    He might be right about "if the president..."

    Still articles of impeachment have been drawn against two presidents for exactly that.


    If Congress won't impeach him (none / 0) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:15:14 PM EST
    We can't do anything

    Guess what? (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:32:27 PM EST
    We are screwed.

    We might be (none / 0) (#40)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:46:00 PM EST
    But one thing that has been said for a while that if people refuse to speak publicly about this specific stuff it could be a very strong indication that Mueller is building an obstruction case and has ask them not to.

    And I've heard that (none / 0) (#41)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 08:48:50 PM EST
    He might not want them to said publicly that he asked them not to.  

    I wanted to think that's what it was (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 09:21:38 PM EST
    But now that I know Rogers is basically another Flynn, I don't think so now. And if Trump isn't impeached you can't charge him with obstruction.

    Now maybe like Nixon everyone around him eventually goes to jail. But not Trump if he isn't impeached. And then Pence would probably pardon him.


    If Trump (none / 0) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 11:25:18 PM EST
    actually pulled the same stunt on Coats and Rogers, as he did with Comey, I think we are getting pretty close to establishes.  Or, to add to Peter G, it will really, really stink.  The importance of Coats and Rogers refusal to confirm or deny, and just stonewall without legal basis, has been overlooked and underestimated.  There was not a firm commitment for answering the senator's questions in private session.  Coats waffled, Rogers was a weasel (badger)... wanted to talk to the White House. Rogers did not get a "definitive" answer beforehand to his question of executive privilege.  

    Well (none / 0) (#51)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 11:40:27 PM EST
    No one thought he could fire Comey.  I don't think you can apply rational expected actions.  Not sure how it's been overlooked or underestimated either.  

    Cable has talked about nothing else.

    And I am pretty sure I heard them both say they would talk about what Trump told them in a closed session.  Can't say about other questions


    What I think (none / 0) (#52)
    by KeysDan on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:18:55 AM EST
    was overlooked or underestimated was not the coverage (which was considerable, but was given a back seat in importance to the Comey statement), but rather the similarity between Comey's experience  with Trump and that of Rogers and Coats (which was reported, but stonewalled in the hearing).  And, the stitching together of the abuse of power/obstruction into an evidentiary whole.  The focus was more on the stonewalling itself, rather than the missed outcome.

    well (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:23:29 AM EST
    i saw quite a lot of discussion of that too.

    im only saying the very similarity COULD be the very reason for the stonewalling.  and that the stitching is quit possibly being done behind the scenes.

    we may learn more today.


    Both Coats and Rogers said they did (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:28:05 AM EST
    Not feel pressured. Rogers just about shouted it. They were fine talking about their feelings about not being pressured but would not answer if Trump had made Russia investigation requests of them. You can't start talking about something...thereby waiving EP, and then suddenly pull EP out of your pocket on the same subject.

    Angus King brought that up this morning. You can't tell the American people there's nothing to see here and then refuse to explain what there isn't to see.


    so (none / 0) (#55)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:29:17 AM EST
    why were they not held in contempt?   the committe can do that.

    Because it's a Republican led Congress (none / 0) (#56)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:33:58 AM EST
    But Burr issued them a warning to never try this again. If Democrats were running things Rogers would have never answered how he did. I saw him testify during the Obama administration, he was a completely different person.

    so Burr said never do it again (none / 0) (#57)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:35:39 AM EST
    do you thinkthis is the last time these questions will be asked?

    Nope! (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 08:36:49 AM EST
    To be fair (as I always try to be) (none / 0) (#60)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 12:58:56 PM EST
    it is not improper to wait until hearing the questions before committing definitively to whether you will assert a privilege that protects you from having to answer the questions. By the same token, it seems to me, if the privilege is not yours to assert or waive (as with Executive Privilege, where the President is not on the witness stand), then the President (and White House counsel) can properly wait until hearing the questions before committing on the matter of privilege.

    Not that that was the rationale (none / 0) (#61)
    by Peter G on Thu Jun 08, 2017 at 01:07:51 PM EST
    that any of the evasive witnesses offered.

    If it turns out he was asked (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 05:33:49 PM EST
    He needs to be fired ASAP. I think the WaPo article McCain referenced said Rogers was asked BY HIS COMMANDER. I realize that doesn't yet mean it happened, but if it turns out he was asked and he wants to shout at all of us he was never told to do anything illegal or immoral he can KMA and be fired. He isn't a civilian. Trump owns him. Don't tell me you never felt pressure and you were never "told" Rogers!

    Christoopher Wray may (none / 0) (#10)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 03:22:37 PM EST
    be about the best we can hope for as a Trump nominee.  While his legal qualifications and experiences appear satisfactory, he needs to be investigated, particularly, from the perspective of his integrity and backbone.

     After observing the embarrassment of yet another supposed straight arrow, Intel Director Admiral Rogers, during the Senator Intel Committee hearing, it is quite possible that even those entering Trumpland intact, may soon lose their bearing. But, background should include backbone checks to the extent feasible.

     In any event, a part of his confirmation should include his pledge for recusal from the Russia/Trump investigations.  Moreover, the investigation should include a review of his relationship, if any, with his law firm's (King and Spalding) clients, Trump Irrevocable Trust (Trump's assets) and Rosneft, the Russian-state oil giant (mentioned in the Christopher Steele dossier alleging Trump misadventures/kompromat)

    just watching Chris Cristie (3.50 / 2) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:07:50 PM EST
    (whos lap band has officially surrendered) desperately flailing to make Wray sound like a hero for saving his big butt and secure a place in some administration somewhere.


    it wasn't all that long ago that Chris Christie was the darling of the Republican Party, his star burning so bright that a group of Iowa donors flew to New Jersey to convince the governor, hardly a year into office, that he needed to run for president.

    Six years later, his lieutenant governor will be running away from Christie as fast as she can

    Daily Beast (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 07, 2017 at 04:31:42 PM EST

    President Donald Trump named his pick for FBI director this morning--and some former FBI agents fear he is already politicizing the role.
    The president announced (over Twitter, naturally), that he will nominate Christopher Wray to head the bureau. The fact that Trump made this announcement just a day before former FBI Director James Comey's testimony hasn't been lost on the federal law enforcement community.

    The timing will fuel concerns that the president is still trying to use law enforcement for political purposes--which is anathema in the law enforcement world.

    Trump's FBI Announcement Is `an Insult to Every Agent,' Bureau Veterans Say