I want to acknowledge that this evening we will be voting on the nomination of Christopher Wray to serve as the FBI Director. I was proud to join all of my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee. Now that is not an ordinary thing to have happen on its own that we all agreed on something--from both sides of the aisle to support Mr. Wray's nomination in committee on July 29 with a unanimous vote of support. 

In his hearing, Mr. Wray showed that he has the integrity, that he will follow the law, and that he believes in the importance of an independent FBI. Senators on both sides of the aisle asked him strong and tough questions. 

Given this important time in our nation's history for law enforcement and for the FBI, I don't think he would expect anything less. Mr. Wray handled the questions well. He was knowledgeable, but most importantly for me, he showed the respect for the agents. He showed a respect for his predecessors--both Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey. He showed a respect for the law, and he understood the somber time in which he comes to take this job. In particular, Mr. Wray said that if he was asked to do something illegal or unethical, he would urge the President not to proceed with such a course of action and he would resign if necessary. Mr. Wray also responded to Senator Graham that he would not consider Special Counsel Mueller to be on a "witch hunt," and he agreed that anyone running for elected office should notify the FBI if a foreign government offers assistance on a political campaign.

Mr. Wray also agreed with the concerns that I raised posed by organized criminals, including those from foreign governments or who work for foreign governments, hiding their money in shell ocmpanies. He said that we had to "follow the money." With news reports that the eighth person in the meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and a lawyer connected to the Russian government was a Russian who has been linked to money laundering, this issue is as important as ever. 

In addition, Mr. Wray pledged to continue the FBI's efforts to work with the Election Assistance Commission and to address cybersecurity threats to our election infrastructure. So it's not just investigating things backwards. A lot of what fighting crime is about--and I certainly knew this in my time as country attorney in Hennepin County. A lot of this is making sure you protect people going forward.

And so the FBI has enormous responsibilities going forward with cybersecurity not only for our elections, but for our government and also for business and individual citizens. Importantly, Mr. Wray promised to be responsive to requests from the Judiciary Committee as it carries out its oversight responsibilities. Those were questions posed to him by the Committee's Chairman, Chairman Grassley. 

This is a tough time to take this job. The previous FBI Director, as we know, was fired because of the Russia investigation. The former Acting Attorney General was fired. And we've had a slew of other firings throughout the government over the last few months. 

While I believe Christopher Wray is someone who will come in there with the integrity that we need to do the job for those brave agents that go to work every day not wearing a political button. They just go to do their work to protect us. And I also believe he is the right choice at this time for our country.

I'm very proud of the work the FBI in Minnesota has done, especially in the recent past year with the stabbing that we had at the shopping mall. The police chief there often talks about how there was so much going on at that moment, and the FBI was able to come in and help with that investigation in a significant way. So the police chief could not only work on the investigation with his officers, but also calm the community and work with them and do the other work that had to be done in the aftermath of that tragic stabbing. That's just one example of our FBI in Minnesota. But I think every member in this chamber has examples in their own communities.

And that's why it's important to have someone of the caliber of Christopher Wray take charge.