Watch: FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray's Senate hearing


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FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray appeared before the Senate on Wednesday, facing questions about how he would fill a role that President Donald Trump abruptly opened last month.

The Senate Judiciary Committee asked Wray, a 50-year-old white-collar lawyer and former assistant attorney general, about his independence from Trump and how he would treat a special counsel's investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election.

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Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey in May amid a federal probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. Trump later said he ousted Comey over the "Russia thing."

Comey testified that Trump asked him for loyalty shortly after taking office and later made a statement that Comey interpreted as a request to "drop" an investigation into former national security advisor Michael Flynn. Trump has denied making those statements.

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