US Senate confirms Christopher Wray as new FBI director

Thursday, 03 Aug, 2017

During a confirmation hearing last month, Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would strive for independence, in light of that Trump had allegedly asked for loyalty from the then-FBI leader.

Democrats have also signaled they think Wray will be able to stand up to Trump, including any potential attempts to quash FBI investigations. Trump recently has publicly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions - something Democrats characterized as bullying the nation's top law enforcement officer - and acting Federal Bureau of Investigation director Andrew McCabe, who was Comey's deputy. "My loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law".

Besides the unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee, other senators had advocated for Wray's confirmation following meetings with the nominee in recent weeks.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, both Democrats who served under President Barack Obama, endorsed Mr Wray.

Wray's first challenge will likely be to reassure the bureau's more than 30,000 employees of his commitment to their independence, after insisting to lawmakers he would be his own man.

Before working in a private law firm, he had headed from 2003 to 2005, the division criminal of the u.s. department of Justice. "Americans need someone they can trust to lead our nation's highest law enforcement agency", said Senator Perdue. The vote was 92-5 for Wray, a former high-ranking official in President George W Bush's Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud. Wray will replace former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired on May 9. Only Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) voted against Wray's confirmation.

President Donald Trump appointed Wray nearly three months after the position was vacant.

He also said he's be willing to blow the whistle on any attempt by the White House to interfere in the special counsel led by Robert Mueller and its Russian Federation investigation. He previously led the federal investigation of Enron and represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in a scandal in which aides and political appointees ordered the closure of some lanes of the George Washington Bridge that links NY and New Jersey.