After Tough Questions, Tester to Support FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray

Senator Pushed for Answers on Meth Epidemic, Indian Country Jurisdiction, and Sexual Assaults on College Campuses

(U.S. Senate) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today met face-to-face with Christopher Wray, President Trump’s nominee to serve as director of the FBI.

Tester asked Wray about issues specific to Montana and encouraged him, if he is confirmed, to work closely with local Montana law enforcement officials to address the state’s largest public safety issues. After receiving thoughtful answers from Wray, Tester announced he will support his nomination.

“Mr. Wray will be stepping into the FBI at a very tumultuous time and it is critical that he is up for the task,” Tester said after the meeting. “It is important that he is able to hit the ground running and help Montana address the growing meth epidemic and prosecute violent offenders. During our conversation, Mr. Wray was prepared, transparent, and focused, which is why I will support his nomination to lead the FBI.”

Tester specifically raised concerns about the growing meth epidemic in Montana and encouraged Wray to work closely with local law enforcement to eliminate the use, trafficking and manufacturing of meth in Montana. The rate of hospital admissions due to meth overdoses in Montana is currently above the national average and has more than doubled in recent years.

Tester has been pushing the Trump Administration to identify solutions to the rising meth problem in Montana, and he has been critical of the administration’s attempt to gut 95 percent of funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy as opioid and meth use is rising.

Tester also encouraged Wray to prioritize prosecuting violent crimes in Indian Country and to work closely with tribes to close the jurisdictional gap that exists between tribal and federal law enforcement agencies. Tribal leaders have expressed their frustration to Tester over the lack of coordination between the FBI and Tribal Law Enforcement, as well as the FBI staffing shortages in Indian Country. The FBI is responsible for prosecuting violent felonies that take place on Indian Reservations.

Tester and Wray also discussed the important role the FBI can play when it comes to investigating sexual assaults on college campuses, as well as FBI staffing priorities in Montana, and the FBI’s ongoing independent investigation into Russia’s cyberattack on America’s democracy.

Wray is nominated to replace former Director James Comey and his nomination is expected to receive a final vote on the Senate Floor before August.