Christopher Wray, a former Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, will be nominated as the next director of the FBI, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday.
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Wray would replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over after James Comey was fired by Trump last month. Comey is scheduled to testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.
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
Here’s what you should know about the career of Trump’s pick to lead the nation’s top law enforcement agency:
1. DOJ career
Wray was confirmed by voice vote in the Senate in 2003 to serve as an assistant attorney general leading the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The Yale Law School graduate served in that role from 2003 to 2005.
Wray was a member of President Bush’s Corporate Fraud Task Force, which spanned multiple agencies and tackled cases of tax fraud. In that role, he “helped lead the Department’s efforts to address the wave of corporate fraud scandals and restore integrity to U.S. financial markets,” according to a biography of Wray from King & Spalding, the law firm where he currently works.
The biography also notes that Wray was “integral to the DOJ’s response to the 9/11 attacks and played a key role in the oversight of legal and operational actions in the continuing war on terrorism.”
2. Oversaw Enron task force
Wray also made a name for himself when he served on the FBI’s task force on Enron, the energy company that collapsed in 2001 and became the target of an SEC investigation over claims that it overstated earnings.
The case became the “most complex white-collar crime investigation in the FBI’s history,” according to the agency’s website. The Enron Task Force included officials from the FBI, IRS, SEC and Justice Department. The investigation led to charges for multiple executives, including former CEO Ken Lay who died while awaiting a prison sentence that could have lasted 45 years, while former CEO Jeffrey Skilling was fined $45 million and is serving a shortened 14-year prison sentence.
3. Lawyer for Chris Christie
Most recently, Wray has served as a white-collar criminal defense attorney at King & Spalding, where he’s a partner. He was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s personal attorney and represented him during the “Bridgegate” investigation. Christie, a close ally of President Trump’s, was the U.S. attorney for New Jersey at the same time Wray led the DOJ’s Criminal Division.
“He’s an outstanding lawyer. He has absolute integrity and honesty,” Christie said when asked recently about Wray, according to NJ.com.
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