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In this Jan. 12, 2005 file photo, Assistant Attorney General, Christopher Wray speaks at a press conference at the Justice Dept. in Washington. President Donald Trump has picked a longtime lawyer and former Justice Department official to be the next FBI director. | AP File Photo/Lawrence Jackson

President Donald Trump picks Christopher Wray to be new FBI Director

SHARE President Donald Trump picks Christopher Wray to be new FBI Director
SHARE President Donald Trump picks Christopher Wray to be new FBI Director

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has picked Christopher Wray, a former federal prosecutor now in private law practice, to be the new FBI director, making the announcement in a Wednesday Twitter post.

“I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow,” Trump tweeted.

Wray, a partner at the Washington law firm of King & Spalding – which counts the Trump Organization as a client – and a former top Justice Department official, was never mentioned as one of Trump’s top prospects to replace former FBI Director James Comey, who Trump fired last month.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on May 30 that Trump was meeting with Wray that day to discuss the FBI post, with the interview coming as Wray was one of about a dozen potential nominees for the job.

Trump’s announcement comes a day before Comey is to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on whether Trump asked him to step away from the FBI’s probe of possible collusion between the Trump team and Russia.

Wray was tapped by former President George W. Bush to be the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, where he served between 2003 and 2005 before heading back to King & Spaulding.

Wray, with a white collar crime and public corruption practice, represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the “Bridgegate” controversy over politically motivated lane closings on the George Washington Bridge.

Christie and Wray met when Christie was the top federal prosecutor in New Jersey in the Bush administration. Christie said at a news conference last week that he worked together with Wray “a lot.”

“I have the utmost confidence in Chris. He’s an outstanding lawyer. He has absolute integrity and honesty, and I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director,” Christie said.

Christie, who has informally advised Trump, was not charged in the bridge case.

One of the questions hanging over Christie was about a dozen text messages he exchanged with a former staffer during legislative testimony by officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which manages the bridge, in 2013.

It’s not known what was in those messages and a judge rejected defense attorneys’ attempt to subpoena the phone last summer. After that ruling, Christie’s office revealed that Wray had the phone.

Christie had previously said he “gave it to the government” a while earlier, but the U.S. attorney’s office said it never had the phone.

The law firm that Christie’s administration hired to review the scandal said it “returned” the phone after reviewing its contents in response to a government subpoena.

Wray received his undergraduate and law degrees from Yale University.

For Wray’s King & Spaulding biography, click HERE.

Contributing: Associated Press

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