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Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) said he was "impressed" with Christopher Wray's showing at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday to be the next FBI Director, an unusual sign of praise from one of the Trump administration's strongest critics. Comey had been overseeing the FBI's investigation of Russian meddling in last year's presidential election and possible ties between some top aides of the Trump campaign and Russia.

In a series of statements on Twitter, Trump called Mueller's investigation a "WITCH HUNT" based on the "phony" premise of possible collusion between Russian Federation and a cadre of Trump campaign associates.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, a special counsel appointed by the Department of Justice, is now overseeing the federal Russian Federation probe.

"Wray should explain what he knew about detainee abuses, when he knew about them, what actions he did or did not take and why", said Laura Pitter, senior USA national security counsel for Human Rights Watch.

According to a Saturday report by USA Today, Wray's law firm continues to represent Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia's largest state-controlled oil companies.

He said: "My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law".

"I think it would be wise", he said.

Wray told Graham he would probably want to consult with a legal adviser before doing so.

"The FBI director does not serve the president", Feinstein told the hearing. He was selected to replace James Comey, who was sacked by Trump in May.

Comey has since testified to Congress that he believes he was sacked for failing to shut down the investigation into the alleged coordination between the Trump campaign, specifically former Trump adviser Michael Flynn, and the Russian government.

Formerly an assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush, Wray now works as a lawyer in private practice.

"I say this without hesitation - Chris simply does not make mistakes", Thompson wrote of their time at the Justice Department, which the Federal Bureau of Investigation is part of.

Goldstone sought to set up the meeting on behalf of Agalarov, saying that the Russian lawyer had offered damaging information on Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump's Federal Bureau of Investigation pick: Mueller's Russia probe not a "witch hunt" Lewandowski knew nothing about Trump Jr. meeting because it "was a nothing meeting" The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE. This is an important day for you, your family, and for the country and I welcome you and your family to the Committee.

Mr Wray's confirmation hearing took place amid continuing controversy over the Trump administration's links with Russia, following confirmation by Donald Trump jnr that he attended a meeting with a Russian attorney under the pretext of receiving incriminating material on Ms Clinton from the Russian government.

Wray's offer was not simply an act of loyalty or friendship, Richter said.

Said Wray: "I have no reason to doubt the conclusions of the intelligence community". The White House at first said Comey was sacked at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private server as secretary of state. And he says Wray's record shows he is committed to independence. He is also the former personal attorney for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Trump ally.