US President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he chose Christopher Wray, a former Federal Prosecutor and currently a Criminal Defense lawyer based in Washington, as the replacement for James Comey, the former FBI director that Pres. Trump had fired.
Wray represented New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie, in the Bridgegate scandal. The announcement was made by Pres. Trump through a morning tweet:
“I plan to nominate Christopher A. Wray as the FBI’s newest director as he is a man of impressive and impeccable credentials. The details will soon follow.”
The decision of Pres. Trump came just a day before James B. Comey, FBI’s former director, is scheduled to testify regarding the attempts of the President to make him agree on ending the investigation of the Bureau on Trump’s former National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn. Flynn is under the FBI investigation for his alleged contacts with Russia.
Wray was the assistant Attorney General who oversaw the Criminal Division during the presidency of George W. Bush. Trump’s pick as FBI’s new director allays the fears of agents from the Bureau who were worried that the President might try to politicize or weaken the FBI.
According to two administration officials, Wray is somewhat Pres. Trump’s hybrid pick. The man is an experienced criminal lawyer and he has bonded with Chris Christie during their early years in the Department of Justice. Wray also maintains an excellent reputation as a criminal defense lawyer and he represented Christie for the scandal that definitely rocked his governorship.
Because of the scandal, Wray’s political skills were refined and it gave him the edge over other finalists including FBI’s former deputy director and Transportation Security Administration head, John S. Pistole. As told by the same administration officials, Wray managed to counsel and soothe New Jersey’s Governor who was volatile during the height of the scandal. Also, Christie is a staunch ally of Trump.
Alice Fisher, who served in the US Justice Department, sent an email and said that Wray is an excellent choice to be the leader of FBI as he cares deeply and truly about the Bureau. Fisher also said that Wray has a strong relationship with the FBI.
“The background of Wray and his experience in the criminal division gave him excellent experience working on white-collar crime, national security, and other federal crimes,” added Fisher who was also interviewed for the FBI director position.
Pres. Trump fired James Comey abruptly as he told his associates that he thinks the President “is trying to make him agree on dropping the inquiries” that he made which would affect Trump personally.
As for Pres. Trump, his explanations on why he dismissed Comey are shifting. The news the President just made on the nomination of Wray as FBI’s newest director signals how he wants to forge ahead even when there are already developments regarding the reasons why Comey was dismissed. A lot of Democrat officials say that impeachment proceedings against Trump have to begin immediately.
The President hoped to pick a replacement FBI director quickly before he embarked on the overseas trip he had mid-May, but he was dissuaded by his top advisers.