President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he would nominate Christopher A. Wray, a former assistant attorney general, to lead the FBI.
Wray is a partner at King & Spalding, a law firm with offices in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. He worked at the Department of Justice for two years in the George W. Bush administration.
From The Daily Mail
Trump said Wray is ‘a man of impeccable credentials’ in a Wednesday morning tweet that appeared on his personal account.
The surprise announcement hit two hours before Trump’s acting FBI director, Andrew McCabe, and his deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, were set to take the stand in the first of two Senate hearings this week that will examine the president’s shock firing of the bureau’s previous head, James Comey.
Comey is expected to dispute the president’s version of the events that preceded his firing in testimony Thursday but stop short of claiming Trump obstructed justice.
Trump fired Comey in a letter that was hand-delivered to the FBI on May 9 while the law enforcement official was at a bureau branch in LA.
The letter cited a lack of confidence in his ability to lead the bureau as the reason for dismissal, and it included a revelation that Comey told Trump three times that he was not under investigation.
Two other memos in the packet signed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein, his deputy, backed up Trump’s decision.
In three pages, Rosenstein crucified Comey for running the FBI into the ground.
Rosenstein said he could not defend Comey’s treatment of Hillary Clinton’s email case and harangued the FBI director for refusing to admit he made ‘serious mistakes.’
The White House initially laid the firing at Rosenstein’s feet. Three Trump aides scrambled to spin the firing as his idea on TV, only to back track and say it was the president who first brought the subject up.
They maintain that it was Comey’s mishandling of Clinton’s emails – and his inaccurate testimony to a congressional committee – that landed him on the chopping block, not his investigations into the president’s presidential campaign and his associates.
Filling the vacancy created by Comey’s firing has proven a tough task. A first wave of current and retired lawmakers and former feds dropped out of the running after interviewing for the job.
Trump promised he’d have a name ‘very soon’ before he left on foreign travel in late May but had to return to the drawing board when his favorite candidate for position walked away.
He said Wednesday that he had arrived at a decision and a formal announcement was coming.
‘I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow.’
Wray was – from 2003 to 2005 – the assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice’s criminal division. He was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate unanimously.
Comey was also at the Justice Department at the time, serving as his superior in the role of deputy attorney general.
Wray had started out as an assistant U.S. attorney for the northern district of Georgia from 1997 to 2001, before becoming an associate deputy attorney general in May 2001, quickly moving to the position of principle associate deputy attorney general in September of that year.
Wray oversaw the Enron Task Force and other major fraud investigations, while working at the DOJ.
More recently, Wray served as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s personal lawyer during the ‘bridgegate’ case.
Christie was cleared of any wrongdoing, though three of the governor’s aides were charged.
Wray has worked at the law firm of King & Spalding since leaving the Justice Department in 2005.