What’s most important to know about the President’s nominee for FBI Director?
President Trump announced on Twitter that he had selected Christopher Wray, former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, to be the next FBI director.
Wray, if confirmed by the senate, will replace James Comey, who was fired by the President a month ago. Comey is also set to testify in front of a Senate Intelligence Committee tomorrow regarding Russia’s possible ties with President Trump’s associates to tamper in last year’s presidential election.
Wray’s nomination comes at an interesting time. Here are five things to know about him:
- He is currently a partner at the law firm King and Spalding
Wray currently works in the private sector as a litigation partner for the law firm King and Spalding, which he joined in 2005. Prior to joining the firm, Wray was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division. He was nominated by then President George W Bush and was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate.
According to the firm’s website, he also chairs the Spalding Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group, and represents companies, audit and special committees, and individuals in a variety of white-collar criminal and regulatory enforcement matters. The group was twice recognized as the “White-Collar Group of the Year.”
- He represented Chris Christie during the “Bridgegate” investigation
Wray successfully defended Chris Christie in the “Bridgegate” controversy, where Christie was under investigation for allegedly closing lanes on the George Washington bridge as a sort of “political payback” against a mayor who refused to endorse him. While Christie was acquitted, two of his aides—Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Baroni—were found to be guilty.
Indeed, the New Jersey Governor endorsed Wray and called him an “outstanding choice, a non-political choice.”
- He received the Edmund J Randolph Award, the Department of Justice’s highest honor
At the end of his tenure as assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division in 2005, Wray received the Edmund J Randolph Award for public service and leadership. In addition to his role as Assistant Attorney General, Wray also played an integral role overseeing the DOJ’s response to the 9/11 attacks.
- He cosigned a letter in support of the nomination of Sally Yates for Deputy Attorney General
Wray co-signed a letter in 2015 calling for Sally Yates’ nomination for Deputy Attorney General.
“All of us strongly believe Sally possesses the necessary qualities to make her an effective leader of the Justice Department, and we are honored to support her nomination to be the next Deputy Attorney General,” the letter read. Yates was appointed as deputy Attorney General and served during the Obama administration but was fired by President Trump after she instructed department lawyers to not defend President Trump’s travel ban.
- He worked with ex-FBI director James Comey to oversee the Enron Scandal
Wray worked under Comey and oversaw the task force that investigated Enron after the energy company’s collapse. The investigation led to a lot of convictions for executives and auditors who falsified profits to increase share prices.
Although his nomination is yet to be confirmed by the Senate, Wray definitely seems to be a qualified candidate for the job.