WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement after he joined his colleagues in voting to confirm Christopher Wray to be the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The overwhelmingly bipartisan Senate vote was 92-5. The position became vacant after President Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey over his unwillingness to drop the investigations into how Russia attacked the U.S. during the 2016 election and whether or not any member of the Trump campaign coordinated or colluded with Russian agents.
“I met with Christopher Wray last week to discuss his nomination to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). I was impressed with Mr. Wray’s background and qualifications. We discussed the importance of the independence of the FBI in following the facts and the law in its investigations, including the importance of the Special Counsel’s ongoing investigation and the Justice Department’s firewall policy on White House-DOJ interactions.”
“Special Counsel Robert Mueller must have the independence, authority, and resources to get to the bottom of Russian interference in our Presidential election, including any collusion with members of the Trump campaign or officials. The President’s firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his continuing public criticism and intimidation of Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shows that the President has little respect for the rule of law or separation of powers and raises serious questions about obstruction of justice. Mr. Wray will have a steep challenge ahead of him as he swears to support and defend the Constitution and uphold the FBI’s motto of ‘Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity.’
“I also discussed with Mr. Wray the importance of prioritizing the consolidation of the FBI headquarters and making this a priority for both the FBI and DOJ. It is outrageous that the Trump Administration cancelled the current request for proposals for a fully consolidated FBI headquarters, which puts America’s national security at risk. The Hoover Building is crumbling around the FBI and cannot be properly renovated, so we must move quickly to establish a new headquarters that meets the 21st century challenges of our nation’s premier law enforcement and counter-terrorism agency.”