Sen. Chris Coons (D -Del.) joined members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday in questioning FBI director nominee Chris Wray.
The state’s junior senator stressed the importance that the next FBI director be independent and nonpartisan.
“It falls on you not only to clearly demonstrate to our committee that you possess the legal and management skills for the position you’ve been nominated, but that you have a fierce commitment to maintaining the FBI as an independent agency,” he said.
Coons said earlier in the day on CNN that an independent FBI is especially important as the Judiciary Committee begins an obstruction of justice investigation into why the previous FBI director was fired.
During his questioning, Coons asked Wray if he would provide special counsel Robert Mueller with all the tools necessary to investigate Russian meddling in U.S. elections.
Wray said he would give Mueller all the resources he needs.
Coons also questioned Wray on Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from investigations into the Trump campaign.
"Is it appropriate for the attorney general to make public comments on the ongoing investigation, to engage in decisions about its resourcing, funding, or staffing? Is that an appropriate part of his management role of the agency as attorney general"? Coons asked.
Wray said he wasn't sure it was his place to answer that question. But offered this response:
"I would say that if he is recused from an investigation, to me he means that he shouldn't be participating in decision-making about the investigation," Wray said.