Tensions Mount Ahead of Comey's Testimony
President Trump has tweeted that he’ll be nominating Christopher Wray to be the next FBI director. Trump tweeted this morning, "I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow." Wray served as assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005. Since then, he’s been working as a private lawyer at King & Spalding law firm.
Trump’s announcement a few minutes ago comes as tensions are mounting between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, one day ahead of the much anticipated Senate committee testimony of former FBI Director James Comey Thursday. Multiple news outlets are reporting that Sessions and Trump have had a series of tense exchanges in recent weeks and that Sessions offered to resign at least once. The White House is refusing to say whether Sessions still has Trump’s support.
This comes as The New York Times is reporting that in February, while still serving as FBI director, James Comey told Attorney General Jeff Sessions he did not want to be left alone with President Trump. Comey’s plea to Sessions followed a private meeting between Trump and Comey in which Trump reportedly pressured him to drop the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Sessions had been in the Oval Office during the meeting, but Trump had asked him to leave so he could talk to Comey privately. It’s also being reported that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told associates that Trump asked him to pressure Comey to stop the investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s ties to Russian officials. Coats is testifying today before the Senate Intelligence Committee, alongside acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein will face questioning about his participation in the firing of James Comey.
Meanwhile, Yahoo News is reporting that lawyers at at least four of the nation’s most powerful law firms are refusing to represent Trump in the ongoing investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia. All this comes as Comey is slated to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday, in which he’s expected to reject Trump’s claims that Comey told Trump he was not under investigation. He’s also expected to face questioning about why he didn’t tell Jeff Sessions that President Trump had pressured him to end the FBI investigation. On Tuesday, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the Watergate scandal now "pales in comparison" to the crisis currently engulfing Washington.