WASHINGTON — Christopher Wray was confirmed by the Senate as the new FBI Director in a 92-5 vote.
President Donald Trump nominated Wray for the post in June, several weeks after he fired James Comey. At the time, Trump said that Wray was “a man of impeccable credentials.”
Trump abruptly fired Comey on May 9, just as the FBI was investigating Russia meddling in the 2016 election.
Wray previously served as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division under the George W. Bush administration between 2003 and 2005.
He had been a litigation partner for the private law firm King & Spalding in Washington D.C. He notably acted as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s personal attorney during the “Bridgegate” scandal.
Wray graduated from Yale University in 1989 and earned his law degree in 1992 from Yale Law School.
Despite the extraordinary circumstances that led him to the post, Wray’s confirmation was relatively smooth. Voting against him were Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).
Wray will preside over the FBI as its investigation continues into Russian interference in the election, and whether there was any collusion by members of the Trump team. But that investigation is now being led by Robert Mueller, Comey’s predecessor as FBI director. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named Mueller as special counsel in May.
Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the FBI, has been serving as acting director since Comey’s departure. He, too, has come under fire from Trump.
In a tweet on July 25, Trump claimed that McCabe had ties to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“The person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from (Hillary Clinton) for wife!” he wrote. But PolitiFact concluded that Trump’s statement was “mostly false.”
Wray is only the 8th permanent FBI director since it was established as an independent entity within the Department of Justice in 1935.