WASHINGTON (AP) — The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he hopes to hold a committee vote next week on Christopher Wray’s nomination to be FBI director.

Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he’s impressed with Wray, who promised at his Wednesday hearing to never let politics get in the way of the bureau’s mission.

Grassley said Thursday Wray is “the independent leader the FBI needs,” and he takes Wray at his word that his loyalty will be to the U.S. Constitution.

Votes on the Judiciary panel are often delayed a week at the request of any committee member. Grassley said that hasn’t been the tradition with FBI nominees and he hopes that won’t happen with Wray.

Democrats on the committee signaled support for Wray, but it is unclear if they will try and delay the vote.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, said she will vote for Wray. She noted Wednesday that nominations are often delayed, but said she hopes that the vote on Wray will be “sooner rather than later.”

Wray would replace former FBI Director James Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump in May amid an investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties to Trump’s campaign.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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