FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray once recommended Sally Yates to DOJ
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 08, 2017,
Jun 08, 2017, 4:24
Law360, Washington (June 7, 2017, 8:47 AM EDT) - President Donald Trump said via Twitter Wednesday that he will nominate King & Spalding LLP partner Christopher A. Wray, a former Bush administration lawyer who later represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie during the Bridgegate scandal, to become the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation after firing former director James Comey in a high-profile episode almost a month ago.
He now works at a law firm, King & Spalding where he works as a litigation partner in the firm's Washington and Atlanta offices and also chairs the Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group. Then, in 2001, he moved to the Justice Department as an associate deputy attorney general and principal associate deputy attorney general.
The timing of Wray's appointment could also be aimed at blunting the impact of Comey's testimony before the Senate intelligence committee on Thursday.
At Justice, Wray, who received a law degree from Yale in 1992, helped lead the department's efforts to address the wave of corporate fraud scandals, overseeing the prosecution of Enron and HealthSouth, among other major investigations.
Christopher Wray pauses during a press conference at the Justice Department in November 2003, when he was assistant US attorney general.
According to the New York Times, Wray's relationship with Christie began when the two were both young lawyers. Many had hoped that Trump would choose a non-political appointee, someone who has not served in elected office and therefore was less susceptible to corruption and bias.
Given Christopher Wray has worked as a private lawyer specialising in white collar crime since 2005, lawmakers may question his counterterrorism and management experience, says the BBC's Barbara Plett-Usher in Washington. He represented Republican Christie in the lane-closing investigation, in which two former Christie aides were convicted of plotting to close bridge lanes to punish a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie.
Among Wray's credentials is a stint as the assistant attorney general leading the Justice Department's criminal division, from 2003 to 2005.
However she points out that they did want a career law enforcement professional rather than a politician. "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".
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Wray seemed like "the ideal kind of person" for the important job.
Wray worked for the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.