New Trump FBI pick represented Christie in Bridgegate case
- Author: Larry Hoffman Jun 08, 2017,
Jun 08, 2017, 11:07
Less than a year later, Wray was reportedly among the top officials at the Justice Department - along with embattled former FBI Director James Comey and now special counsel Robert Mueller - who planned to resign after White House officials tried to persuade a hospitalized Ashcroft to sign off on a warrantless domestic surveillance program in 2004.
In an early morning two-sentence tweet, Trump said he meant to nominate Christopher Wray, a high-ranking official in George W. Bush's Justice Department who represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the Bridgegate scandal. He said the president hadn't consulted him, but he appeared positive about Wray's credentials, saying "he's the flawless kind of person". The nomination of Wray - and the Senate confirmation hearings for the 10-year post - promise days more of public discussion about Trump and Russian Federation.
Ken Wainstein, former chief of the Justice Department's National Security Division, described Wray as "an exceptionally strong choice".
Chris Coons says Christopher Wray "is a serious and experienced attorney" - and Coons notes Wray's experience at the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration.
After a search that focused on political figures - including former U.S. Sen.
Wray had an initial interview with the Justice Department on May 24 and met with Trump on May 30, the official said. The response in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Wray would only need a simple majority vote, was supportive but cautious. "The committee will begin consideration of his nomination once we receive it and the related materials, which may take a couple weeks". After this week, Congress is only in session for six weeks before the five-week August recess. "In the coming weeks, we will evaluate Christopher Wray's qualifications to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation and his plans for our security and law enforcement".
Wray's nomination is sure to be caught up by questions from both parties - but especially Democrats - over whether he will be able to be independent of Trump, how he will handle the investigation into Russia's election meddling and how he will interact with Mueller. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said.
He has recently been involved in representing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the "Bridgegate" case over politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
Wray works in private practice for the King & Spalding law firm.
Stating that Wray has "a brilliant legal mind", Sessions added, "We are fortunate that he is willing to make this personal commitment to serve his country at this important time".
A jury in November convicted Bill Baroni, Christie's former top executive appointee at the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, Christie's former deputy chief of staff, of intentionally misusing Port Authority resources and conspiracy, among other charges. Christie said the president made an "outstanding choice" for Federal Bureau of Investigation director, calling Wray an independent, nonpolitical pick.
"When I was at the absolute lowest point of my professional life, he was who I called". "But Wray is a good choice, a much better choice than any name I previously saw floated, and a much better choice than I expected Trump to make". "And it's not like I don't know a lot of lawyers".
Thomas O'Connor, president of the FBI Agents Association which endorsed former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., for the job, said the group "looks forward" to meeting with Wray.
Wray got Christie off while some of his colleagues took the fall.
Wray graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1989, received his law degree from the school in 1992 and served as executive editor of the Yale Law Journal. The news was confirmed by the US President himself who posted on Twitter about it on Wednesday evening.