Trump’s new FBI nominee gave Congress a ‘less than truthful answer’ on Abu Ghraib torture deaths
FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray and Abu Ghraib (composite image)

A deeper dive into the background of President Donald Trump's selection for FBI Director shows less than truthful answers to Congress about the 2004 Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

"President Donald Trump’s choice for FBI director was notified months before the public knew about the death of a detainee at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq," according to a bombshell new report in the Miami Herald.

The timeline of events back in 2004 looks troubling for Christopher A Wray.

CIA Assistant Inspector General for Investigations Mona B. Alderson wrote a February 20, 2004 memo titled, “Possible Violations of Federal Law,” to officially notify then Assistant Attorney General Wray, "concerning possible violations of federal criminal law."

Less than three months later on May 5, 2004, Wray did not inform the Senate Judiciary Committee of that memo.

“What actions has the Department of Justice taken with respect to investigating and possibly prosecuting criminal conduct by American civilians at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq or at any of the other places where the administration has evidence, and the administration does have evidence, of other torture that has not been made public yet? What actions have you taken?” asked Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).

“I am not aware of any referral from the Department of Defense to the Justice Department or the FBI relating to these matters," Wray responded while making no mention of the CIA notification.

Senator Leahy, who graduated from Georgetown Law and was elected twice as a State's Attorney in Vermont, then left a powerful paper trail.

"Soon after that Leahy wrote then Attorney General John Ashcroft that Wray may have provided “less than a complete and truthful answer,” the Miami Herald reported. "The letter, part of a trove obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through FOIA litigation, shows Leahy writing, 'I am concerned about this” beneath his signature.'"

Confirmation hearings for Christopher Wray will be held before the same Senate committee that Wray allegedly mislead about Abu Ghraib.

The Department of Justice entirely redacted a May 6, 2004 letter Wray wrote on, "Iraq detainees at Abu Ghraib prison."

"Former Bush administration deputy attorney general John Yoo, author of an 81-page document that came to be known as a “Torture Memo” testified in 2008 that Wray may have gotten an early draft of the document," the Miami Herald also reported.

According to Betsy Woodfruff and Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast, many agents saw the abrupt announcement of Christopher Wrey as “a slap in the face” that was “an insult to every FBI agent.”