FBI Nominee Denies Involvement with John Yoo's Handiwork

World Can't Wait | July 13, 2017

While Christopher Wray's time as principal associate deputy attorney general coincided with "torture memos" authored by John Yoo, he discounts testimony that he reviewed, let alone approved, content.

"My view is that torture is wrong, it's unacceptable, it's illegal, and I think it's ineffective," Wray responded to questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee today. Senators from both parties were impressed with his answer. "Best of luck to you," offered Al Franken. 

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Not so fast: Human Rights organizations challenge Mr. Wray's involvement in U.S. detainee policy after the attacks of September 11, 2001. As head of the Justice Department's criminal division from 2003 to 2005, Wray headed investigation of CIA abuse, including the deaths of two men in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Wray needs to explain what and when he knew about CIA detainee abuse and his response," says Human Rights Watch co-director McFarland Sanchez-Moreno. Wray also played a key role in the FBI PENTTBOMB investigation of "special interest" detainees. More than 750 mostly Arab or Muslim men were held for prolonged periods, averaging 80 days, without knowledge of, or the ability to contest, terrorism allegations.

Mr. Wray has spent almost 12 years representing major corporations and Governor Chris Christie. Wray's firm also advises the Trump family business, and represents Rosneft and Gazprom, two of Russia's largest state-controlled oil companies. So much for "the impartial pursuit of justice" extolled by the director-in-waiting.