I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2017
“I am proud to announce Christopher as my choice as the Director of the FBI,” Trump said in a statement. “He is an impeccably qualified individual, and I know that he will again serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity once the Senate confirms him to lead the FBI.”
Wray is currently a partner at the firm of King & Spalding and will replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
Previously, Wray served as the assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division of the Justice Department from 2003 to 2005. During that time he oversaw the Enron prosecution and played a leadership role in the DOJ’s post 9/11 response.
Since that time he has focused on white collar crime and internal investigations in the private sector including the defense of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during the “bridgegate” scandal.
“It is a great honor to be selected by the President to return to the Department of Justice as Director of the FBI,” said Mr. Wray. “I look forward to serving the American people with integrity as the leader of what I know firsthand to be an extraordinary group of men and women who have dedicated their careers to protecting this country.”
The New York Times calls Wray a “safe, mainstream pick” eliminating concerns brought up when Trump considered former politicians for the FBI leadership role.
Mr. Wray, a former assistant attorney general overseeing the criminal division under President George W. Bush, is likely to allay the fears of F.B.I. agents who worried that Mr. Trump would try to weaken or politicize the F.B.I.
Trump’s pick will likely face tough scrutiny during his Senate confirmation hearing, but he is expected to make it through with votes from both sides of the aisle. Wray carries the law enforcement bona fides that Senators from both parties asked Trump to look for when choosing a nominee.
The announcement comes just one day before fired FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before a Congressional committee and may be an attempt by the president to lower the curtain on Comey’s tenure. As the spotlight moves to the future, the news cycle will likely go with it.
Prior to having joined the DOJ in 2003, Mr. Wray served as an associate deputy attorney general and federal prosecutor.
Christopher Asher Wray received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale.