The Senate confirmed Trump’s pick for FBI director on Tuesday with a vote of 92-5.
Christopher Wray, who worked in the GW Bush Administration as Assistant AG, has promised to conduct his job “without regard to any partisan political influence.”
Wray earned unanimous approval from the Judiciary Committee last month and has been endorsed by former AG Eric Holder and former Deputy AG Sally Yates (both Democrats from the Obama Administration).
“I regret that he will be the FBI director only because it is the result of an abuse and improper firing of James Comey and the special counsel’s investigation of that firing as a potential obstruction of justice is well warranted,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), a member of the Judiciary Committee.
Wray is well-liked on both sides, and Democrats believe he will work independently of Trump and any attempts to politicize the FBI.
“It is really important that we have a strong FBI director,” said Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). “Special counsel Robert Mueller must be allowed to proceed with his investigation undisturbed,” she said, referring to the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s interference in last year’s election and the Kremlin’s potential ties to the Trump campaign.
President Trump has criticized Mueller’s handling of the investigation, and, as I wrote on Monday, Republicans are calling to hire a second special counsel to investigate other controversies surrounding last year’s elections. Senators on both sides of the aisle have advised Trump not to fire Mueller, who is widely respected for his previous role as FBI director.
Christopher Wray has an impressive resume, having worked as a federal prosecutor in Georgia from 1997-2001 and as a partner for the King & Spalding law firm. As a Justice Department lawyer, Wray defended New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during the Bridgegate scandal and worked with Comey on the government’s case in the Enron Corp fraud scandal.
“The good work of the FBI has been overshadowed recently by controversies, but I hope this confirmation turns the page and begins a new, shining chapter for our nation’s leading law enforcement agency,” said Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley (R), adding that he doesn’t expect Wray to make any “loyalty pledges.