[WASHINGTON, DC] – After the Senate voted overwhelmingly to confirm Christopher Wray as the next Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) released the following statement:
“Given this President’s irresponsible conduct towards the FBI and the Department of Justice and his inappropriate firing of FBI Director James Comey, it is essential that the FBI remain independent of politics and the next FBI Director avoid any improper interference from the White House. Especially in this administration, the next FBI Director must be willing to resign or be fired while acting in defense of constitutional principles and Mr. Wray pledged to me that he would do just that if necessary,” said Senator Duckworth. “Mr. Wray has exhibited a great deal of respect for the work FBI employees do every day to keep us safe and made clear in our meeting that his loyalties will rest with the American people, the Bureau’s mission, and its career professionals, rather than any political figure.”
Duckworth and Wray met last week and had an extensive conversation about the need for an independent, impartial FBI Director and the important role community engagement plays in effective criminal, counter-terror and hate crime investigations. They also discussed Wray’s experience standing up to improper White House interference as an Assistant Attorney General in 2004 and his threat – alongside then Acting Attorney General James Comey and then FBI Director Robert Mueller – to resign over the White House’s unlawful warrantless domestic surveillance program, prompting President Bush to revise the program.