Washington, July 12, 2017 – The Senate Judiciary Committee is hearing testimony on the appointment of Christopher Wray to serve as the new Director of the FBI. The vacancy in the position, follows President Trump’s firing of James Comey earlier this year.
PREPARED TESTIMONY OF CHRISTOPHER A. WRAY
BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
July 12, 2017
Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Feinstein, and Members of the
Committee. I would like to thank the Committee for the privilege of
appearing before you today. I also want to thank Senator Nunn for his
I would not be able to set out on this next endeavor without the love
and support of my family. I am joined today by my wife Helen, and our
children, Caroline and Trip. Also here are my parents, Gilda & Cecil
Wray; my sister, Katie Baughman; my niece Maggie; my sister-in-law
and brother-in-law Kate and Jason Klitenic; and two of their children,
Amelia and Clark. A commitment of this order affects the whole family,
and I am grateful beyond words to them.
I am honored to be nominated by the President to lead the FBI and
humbled by the prospect of working alongside the outstanding men and
women of the Bureau. Time and time again—often when the stakes are
at their highest—they have proven their unshakeable commitment to
protecting the American people, upholding the Constitution and laws of
the United States, and demonstrating the virtues found in the FBI motto:
Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity.
Former Attorney General and Judge Griffin Bell—with whom I
worked early in my career—often repeated the saying that there is no
limit to what we can achieve if no one cares who gets the credit. The men
and women of the FBI reflect the limitless potential of this saying, born
of their steadfast dedication to their work.
While the FBI has justly earned its reputation as the finest law
enforcement agency in the world, its special agents, analysts, and
support staff operate largely out of public view. They toil at great risk to
themselves and at great sacrifice by their families. But they happily
defer individual recognition because they believe that the principles they
serve are so much larger than themselves.
I feel fortunate to have been able to witness this selfless and
inspiring commitment firsthand throughout my career in public service.
As a line prosecutor, I learned a great deal from working with many brave
special agents of the FBI on cases ranging from bank robberies to
corruption, from kidnapping to financial fraud. My friends to this day,
they taught me much about playing it straight and following the facts
wherever they may lead.
I continued my career in public service in the summer of 2001 by
moving to Washington, D.C. to work at the Justice Department with my
friend and mentor, then-Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson,
After 9/11, I witnessed the FBI’s extraordinary capabilities as the people
there moved heaven and earth to try to ensure that horrific attacks like
those on September 11 never happen again. I know, from up close—and
I sleep better because I know—that the horror of 9/11 has never faded
from the FBI’s collective memory. The Bureau has never grown
complacent and continues to work tirelessly every day to protect all
As head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, I likewise
saw countless examples of the FBI’s unflagging pursuit of justice, free
and independent of any favor or influence. From counterterrorism and
counterespionage to the escalating threats of cybercrime; from human
trafficking to public corruption and financial fraud—I worked with and
learned from the men and women of the FBI, who put it all on the line to
make our streets safer and our lives better.
If I am given the honor of leading this agency, 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.
My 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.
There is no doubt that our country faces grave threats. As others
have noted, America’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies have to
pitch a perfect game every day, while those that would inflict harm on us
need only succeed once to advance their aims. I consider the Director’s
most important duty to ensure that nothing distracts the selfless patriots
at the FBI from their mission.
In conclusion, I pledge to be the leader that the FBI deserves—and
to lead an independent Bureau that will make every American proud.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to answering the
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