President Trump announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that he is nominating Christopher Wray, George W. Bush’s assistant attorney general, to be the new FBI Director.
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
Timing: Trump’s announcement comes a day before former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Essential details on Wray:
He served during George W. Bush’s administration as the former chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division, from 2003-2005.
He “was a member of the administration’s Corporate Fraud Task Force and oversaw the fraud prosecutions of former executives at Enron Corp,” per USA Today.
He left the Justice Department in 2005 to work as a litigation partner at the King & Spalding law firm.
He was Chris Christie’s personal lawyer during the Bridgegate scandal, and he has represented various Fortune 100 companies.
How the White House is reacting: Officials are relieved he chose someone other than Joe Leiberman, who previously took himself out of the race.
There was concern at top levels of the administration that doing so would have only added to the firestorm because of his firm’s connection
The caveat to watch:
Christie’s Bridgegate lawyer and the not the person who most of Trump’s staff was recommending >> https://t.co/W3vqQD5pvO
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) June 7, 2017
How it’s playing:
Norm Eisen, a frequent Trump critic: “[W[ray is a good choice…”
Matthew Miller, former spokesman to Eric Holder: “Wray probably the best choice from the WH short list. His record in the Bush DOJ deserves scrutiny, but he’s a serious, respectable pick.”
The Trump surprise?
.@PeterAlexander notes Wray announcement comes w/o official release, fact sheet, etc.., leading q’s as to whether WH staff knew was coming
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) June 7, 2017
What’s next: Trump must formally nominate Wray, who has to be approved by the Senate. The administration has been slow on the nominations process.