The Washington Post said Christopher Wray, who was picked by President Donald Trump to be the next FBI director, deserves intense scrutiny by lawmakers.
"Mr. Wray must get much more intense scrutiny than the typical executive nominee, because it is evident that the next FBI chief may face severe pressure from a president who is unwilling to respect the boundaries of his office," the newspaper said in an editorial.
The Post said Wray held key posts in the Justice Department under former President George W. Bush and worked on major financial fraud cases during that time. It also pointed out Wray later went into private practice and represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during his "Bridge-gate" scandal.
"Mr. Wray's work during the Bush administration deserves a careful look, as does his relationship to Mr. Christie, a close Trump ally with whom he served in the Justice Department," the paper said.
But the newspaper said the most important line of questioning will deal with the relationship he expects to have with Trump.
"Mr. Wray must be prepared to reveal whether Mr. Trump demanded his 'loyalty' before nominating him to lead the FBI," the editorial said. "He should detail his conversations with the president, and in particular, disclose whether the two discussed the Russia probe.
"If he admits to making any commitments or refuses to answer, the Senate should reject his nomination."
And it added that fired FBI Director James Comey's testimony before a Senate panel on Thursday could "bring more troubling revelations that will add to the pressure on Mr. Wray."
"Never before has a nominee for FBI director borne such a high burden to show that he will put the FBI's independent application of the law above all other considerations," The Post said.
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