Christopher Wray Confirmed as FBI Director
- Author: Rogelio Becker Aug 03, 2017,
Aug 03, 2017, 0:45
On Tuesday, the Senate voted 92-5 to confirm the 50-year-old Christopher Wray, who will assume the role of FBI director a little less than three months after his predecessor was abruptly fired by Donald Trump as part of an effort to shut down the bureau's investigation into the Trump campaign's dalliances with Russian Federation.
Wray was confirmed late in the afternoon by a vote of 92-5.
Wray, who is now a private lawyer, was a top Justice Department official during the George W. Bush administration. The president has called allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign, which the FBI is investigating, a "witch hunt". The Bureau is subordinate to the Ministry of Justice and one of its key functions is counterintelligence. "Christopher Wray has assured us he can be that leader".
Trump nominated Wray to the role in June, describing him as a man of "impeccable credentials". "Mr. Wray's record of service, and his reputation, give us no reason to doubt him", said Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the panel's chairman.
Wray said that if a foreign government wants to interfere in an election, it would be smart for a senior campaign staffer like Donald Trump Jr to let the Federal Bureau of Investigation know before taking a meeting. "My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law". The former acting attorney general was sacked.
He held various high-ranking positions in the Justice Department, head of the criminal division in September 2003.
The Chris Christie connection Wray has represented major companies in litigation but also, most recently, worked for Trump ally Chris Christie in the so-called "Bridgegate" political scandal in New Jersey. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Ed Markey of Massachusetts, Ron Wyden of OR and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.
Before Senate confirmation was required, J. Edgar Hoover held the job for almost 48 years, including during the period when the then-Bureau of Investigation became the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935.
That shunning of the spotlight has earned him praise and led many to conclude he can help steady the agency at a time of upheaval and increased scrutiny.