As the Senate prepares to hear from former FBI Director James Comey as he give his testimony in front of the Intelligence Committee Thursday, President Trump is moving forward. He has just announced his nomination for Comey’s replacement. In typical Trump fashion, he announced his nomination of Christopher Wray via Twitter.
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Wray, a former federal prosecutor, is now a Washington D.C. based criminal defense lawyer who most notably represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the so-called Bridgegate scandal that put three of the governor’s aids in jail but kept Christie free.
The 50-year-old has served under a president as well. He was appointed by Republican President George W. Bush where he oversaw the criminal division and was confirmed by the Senate unanimously.
Trump spoke positively about Wray at the White House Wedesnday morning. “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.”
Analysts who followed the president’s meetings for the FBI Director replacement indicated Wray was at the top of Trump’s list after he allegedly “wowed” him in his interview.
However, this announcement apparently was a surprise to many within the government. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Chuck Grassley, the head of the upper chamber’s Judiciary Committee, spoke candidly to the press, saying they were “blindsided” by the announcement.
Trump originally intended to announce his choice for the position prior to his trip abroad but decided to hold off until after his visit with world leaders. He indicated he would be choosing between his top two candidates – John S. Pistole, the former Deputy Director of the F.B.I. and head of the Transportation Security Administration, and Wray when he returned.
Wray is said to have been a hybrid pick for the president as he is loyal to Trump and the Republican party, according to The New York Times.
The pick looks to be exactly what Trump and the FBI needed right now. Trump will gain a loyal director and the FBI will no longer be an organization that is plagued with scandals.