Wednesday 29 January 2020

Former assistant attorney general takes FBI reins

Christopher Wray is Donald Trump's pick to be the next FBI director. Photo: AP
Christopher Wray is Donald Trump's pick to be the next FBI director. Photo: AP

Andrew Buncombe in New York

A month after he fired James Comey as the FBI director, US President Donald Trump has announced he is nominating lawyer and former assistant attorney general Christopher Wray to replace him.

With the post having been empty since Mr Comey's firing on May 9, Mr Trump and his team had considered a number of people for the position. Among them was former Democratic senator Joe Lieberman.

Mr Trump, who has shown no small ability to create headlines, especially to replace negative ones about him, used Twitter to make his announcement just hours before four intelligence officials were due to give testimony on Capitol Hill about the Russia investigation.

Some were quick to point out the timing of Mr Trump's announcement. "It appears, obviously, that the President is trying to change the topic because we've got two days of hearings here that could be explosive," Senator Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told MSNBC.

Last month, it was announced that Mr Wray (50), who served as assistant Attorney General from 2003 to 2005, would join the list of applicants being interviewed for the vacant position.

The White House finally released a statement on Mr Trump's nomination hours after Mr Trump's tweets saying that Mr Wray has been "recognised throughout his career as a leader in the field of white-collar criminal defence and government investigations".

It also expanded on Mr Trump's earlier remarks: "During his previous service at the Department of Justice, Christopher was the leader of major fraud investigations, and was a key part of the team overseeing the Justice Department's actions in the war on terrorism following the 9/11 attacks," said Mr Trump.

Irish Independent

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