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Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Christopher Wray Named as Trump’s NEW FBI Director NOMINEE
President makes the announcement on Twitter Sally Persons, Andrea Noble and Dave Boyer
President Trump announced Wednesday that he will nominate Christopher A. Wray, a white collar criminal defense attorney who led Justice Department’s Criminal Division under President George W. Bush, as the new FBI director.
The announcement comes as former FBI Director James B. Comey, whom Mr. Trump abruptly fired in May, is set to testify on Capitol Hill Thursday concerning the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
Mr. Wray served as personal attorney for Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during the “Bridgegate” scandal.
He is a former prosecutor and Justice Department official who now works as an private attorney. He joined the department in 1997, working as a prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.
In 2001, Mr. Wray came to D.C. to work as an associate deputy attorney general in the Justice Department. President George W. Bush later nominated him to serve as assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal division, a position he held from 2003 to 2005. That position required Senate approval.
He currently works in private practice specializing in white collar and regulatory matters at King & Spalding law firm. The biography on his law firm’s web site states that during Mr. Wray’s time in charge of the the criminal division, he “helped lead the Department’s efforts to address the wave of corporate fraud scandals and restore integrity to U.S. financial markets.”
He served on both President Bush’s corporate fraud task force and oversaw the Enron Task Force.
Lawyer Todd Alley, a former colleague of Mr. Wray in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Atlanta, praised the president’s choice.”He’s a smart, capable, high-integrity lawyer,” Mr. Alley said. “And he was a good coworker — good dude, good to be around.”
His time at the Justice Department also coincides with Mr. Comey’s, when the former FBI director served as Mr. Wray’s boss as the deputy attorney general.
The timing of the announcement comes one day before the fired Mr. Comey is scheduled to testify to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his firing by Mr. Trump and his investigation into possible Russian connections with the Trump campaign.
As he searched for Mr. Comey’s replacement, the president also had been considering John Pistole, a former deputy FBI director who was President Barack Obama’s head of the Transportation Security Administration. Last month, Mr. Trump considered former Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut for the FBI post, but Mr. Lieberman took himself out of the running.
In a statement issued Wednesday, FBI Agents Association President Thomas O’Connor said it is vital that the next FBI director understand how employees of the bureau do their work. He said the association’s board looks forward to meeting soon with Mr. Wray.
“As the key stakeholder in this process, it is critically important that the FBIAA understands his views on the FBI, special agents, and the criminal and national security threats that agents combat daily,” Mr. O’Conner said.