President Trump taps seasoned law enforcement attorney to head Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 08, 2017,
Jun 08, 2017, 23:31
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.
Wray has since been working as a partner with Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding in D.C. Trump fired James Comey in early May, saying it was necessary to restore "public trust and confidence" in the nation's top law enforcement agency following several tumultuous months.
The announcement comes a day before Comey's much-anticipated testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Last week, Christie told the Bergen Record that Trump "would not be making a mistake" were he to tap Wray to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Wray's credentials are classic establishment: a Yale Law School graduate and executive editor of the law review, law clerk to a conservative federal judge, longtime federal prosecutor for decades and top official in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.
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.
Wray helped lead the Department's efforts to address corporate fraud scandals and served on the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force, overseeing the Enron Task Force as part of his role.
He also served as Chris Christie's lawyer during Bridgegate, the investigation into the closing of traffic lanes over the George Washington Bridge leading from New Jersey into NY.
Mueller is now the special counsel overseeing the probe into alleged ties between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.
Wray works at the King & Spalding law firm.
The White House has said Flynn, who was sacked in February, misled Vice President Mike Pence about contacts with Russia's ambassador to the United States before Trump took office in January. During tense times, Christie said he would make one call: to Wray.
One of the questions hanging over Christie was about a dozen text messages he exchanged with a former staffer during legislative testimony by officials from the Port Authority of NY and New Jersey, which manages the bridge, in 2013.
From 1997 to 2001, Wray served as an assistant USA attorney in north Georgia.