The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Christopher Wray as the new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director on Tuesday. President Trump described the 50-year-old Georgia-based attorney as “a man of impeccable credentials” when he nominated him two months ago.
Wray, who was approved by a 92-5 vote, earned strong bipartisan support when he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing two weeks ago. He also received the backing of 100 former attorneys who wrote at the time that they could “attest to his outstanding reputation.” They also described him as a “strong and effective leader with unassailable integrity, judgment and courage.”
The five Democratic senators who voted against Wray’s confirmation were Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Al Franken (D-MN), and John McCain (R-AZ) were absent.
Both Republicans and Democrats welcomed Wray’s pledge to remain independent of political influence when he told the Committee that his commitment was “to the rule of law, to the Constitution, to follow the facts wherever they may lead.” He also emphasized that there wasn’t “a person on this planet whose lobbying or influence could convince [him] to just drop or abandon a properly predicated and meritorious investigation.”
During his confirmation hearing, Wray also stressed that he would consider any attempt to interfere with the Russia investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller as “unacceptable and inappropriate.” President Trump has previously complained that a number of lawyers chosen by Mueller had either worked for Clinton or donated to the Democrats. Mueller was appointed by the Justice Department to lead the investigation into potential ties between Moscow and the Trump campaign on May 17, a week after Comey was ousted by Mr. Trump.
Wray, who received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1992, served as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division between 2003 and 2005 under the George W. Bush administration.
He also served on the President’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and was one of the leaders of the Enron Task Force.
He also represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the George Washington Bridge lane closure (‘Bridgegate’) scandal.
FBI Acting Director and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe took over the helm of the intelligence agency following Comey’s ousting on May 9.Share