Thursday 17 August 2017

Who is Donald Trump's pick for FBI director Christopher Wray?

He worked in the Justice Department under George W Bush.

By Prudence Wade

Donald Trump has announced he will be nominating ex-Justice Department official Christopher Wray as FBI director.

His choice will be particularly closely scrutinised after the president fired James Comey from the position last month.

Here’s everything you need to know about Wray, who was picked from the range of former prosecutors, politicians and law enforcement officials Trump interviewed.

What’s his background?

Wray studied law at Yale law school, and currently works at the King & Spalding law firm in Washington DC.

Notable moments from his career?

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Wray represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case, when two former Christie aides were convicted of plotting to close bridge lanes to punish a Democratic mayor who wouldn’t endorse the Republican governor.

Wray worked for the Justice Department under President George W Bush as assistant attorney general overseeing the criminal division. The New York Times said that he was key in overseeing operations in the aftermath of the September 11 2001 terrorist attacks.

What are his politics?

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The role of FBI director is traditionally a role that is kept separate from politics.

Wray is not a politician, but the New York Times reports that Wray seems to have Republican leanings – he has donated at least $35,000 to Republican candidates or committees in the last decade.

What are people saying?

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Some people are querying Wray’s links to Trump’s business interests. Newsweek has noted that Wray’s law firm advises the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, which holds the president’s business assets.

However, the New York Times called him a “safe, mainstream pick”.

House Republicans say the pick seems like a good choice. House Speaker Paul Ryan says Wray seems like “the perfect kind of person” to succeed Comey.

What has Wray said?

“It is a great honour to be selected by the president to return to the Department of Justice as Director of the FBI,” he said.

“I look forward to serving the American people with integrity as the leader of what I know firsthand to be an extraordinary group of men and women who have dedicated their careers to protecting this country.”

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