Update: The White House announced on Monday the official nomination of Christopher Wray as the new FBI director, about three weeks after President Trump unexpectedly announced his pick on Twitter. Wray said he was looking forward to moving on with the confirmation process.
"From my earliest days working with agents as a line prosecutor to my time working with them at the Department of Justice in the aftermath of 9/11, I have been inspired by the men and women of the FBI — inspired by their professionalism, integrity, courage, and sacrifice for the public," Wray said in a statement, according to CNN. "I look forward to the confirmation process, and pledge my complete commitment to fairly and honorably protecting our country and upholding our Constitution and laws."
If confirmed by the Senate, Wray would be the successor of former FBI Director James Comey, who was abruptly fired by Trump in early May. Comey testified earlier this month in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee and said he believed he had been fired because of the investigation into the possible ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
This story was originally published on June 7, 2017.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his pick for FBI director — a former Justice Department official who served as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's personal lawyer during the George Washington Bridge lane-closing investigation.
Trump's early morning two-sentence tweet that he intends to nominate lawyer Christopher Wray came one day before the FBI director that Trump fired last month, James Comey, testifies in public on Capitol Hill for the first time since his dismissal. The White House hasn't released an official statement on the nominee.
Trump called Wray "a man of impeccable credentials" and offered no more information about the selection, ending the tweet by saying, "Details to follow."
Wray served in a leadership role in the George W. Bush Justice Department, rising to head the criminal division and overseeing investigations into corporate fraud, during the time when Comey was deputy attorney general. Wray took charge of a task force of prosecutors and FBI agents created to investigate the Enron scandal, in which energy executives were convicted for fraud.
With a strong law enforcement background, Wray is a traditional choice for the job. Trump had entertained current and former politicians for the role, including former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman. Though favored by Trump, Lieberman would have faced a challenging confirmation process; he pulled his name from consideration.
Comey, during his appearance before the Senate intelligence committee, is expected to describe his encounters with Trump in the weeks before his firing May 9. Comey could offer new details regarding discussions with Trump about the federal investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Wray works in private practice for the King & Spalding law firm. He represented Republican Christie in the lane-closing investigation, in which two former Christie aides were convicted of plotting to close bridge lanes to punish a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie.