On Wednesday, President Trump said he is planning to nominate former assistant attorney general Christopher Wray to be the next FBI director.
Wray, currently a litigation partner at King & Spalding, would replace Andrew McCabe, who took over when James Comey was fired by Trump in May.
“I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow,” Trump announced on Twitter.
Wray will need Senate confirmation to take over the bureau.
Trump met with Wray on May 30, with Wray emerging as a late contender for the FBI job.
Former Sen. Joseph Lieberman had been seen as front-runner for the position, but Lieberman took himself out of consideration after Trump hired Marc Kasowitz to defend him in any Russia-related investigations. Lieberman is senior counsel for the New York-based Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP.
McCabe was interviewed for the full-time job, but he was never seen as a serious possibility because of his wife’s connections to Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, as well as his own relationship with Comey.
Wray was nominated as assistant attorney general in charge of the DOJ’s criminal division in 2003 and served in that role until 2005. After he left the Justice Department, Wray returned to private practice, focusing on “white collar and internal investigations.”
Wray was known for overseeing the Enron prosecution task force and playing a major role in the department’s post-9/11 response.
In private practice, Wray also served as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s lawyer during the “Bridgegate” saga. Christie has been a close confidant of Trump’s, but there isn’t any confirmation that the two discussed this nomination.
“I have the utmost confidence in Chris,” Christie told NorthJersey.com last week. “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.”
Wray as FBI head would be stepping into a maelstrom, with the ongoing Russia investigations, as the bureau also attempts to continue anti-terror operations and finding the sources of persistent government leaks.