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Trump Taps Christopher Wray to Lead the FBI

Wray served as an assistant attorney general under George W. Bush and represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie amid the "Bridgegate" scandal.

by Lauren Messman
Jun 7 2017, 1:09pm

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Early Wednesday morning, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that he had closed the search for his next FBI Director, tapping former prosecutor Christopher Wray.

According to Politico, Wray served as an assistant attorney general under former President George W. Bush from 2003 to 2005. There, he helped prosecute former Enron executives for fraud as part of the administration's Corporate Fraud Task Force, USA Today reports. Wray then went into private practice and is perhaps best known for representing Governor Chris Christie amid the "Bridgegate" scandal, according to BBC.

The post has been open since Trump abruptly fired former FBI director James Comey back in early May amid the FBI's ongoing investigation into whether or not Trump campaign associates colluded with Russian officials during the 2016 election. After Comey was fired, former FBI director Robert Mueller was brought in as special counsel to take over that investigation. If Wray accepts the position and is confirmed by the Senate, that investigation will stay in Mueller's hands.

Before Comey was fired, he reportedly had a difficult time trying to assert the bureau's independence from the White House. Not only did Comey literally hide in some White House curtains to try to avoid Trump, but he apparently told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he did not want to be left alone with the president, as recently reported by the New York Times. That request came after Trump reportedly asked Comey to back off from investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a conversation Comey will likely have to testify about in his highly-anticipated appearance with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday.

Having served as a personal lawyer to one of Trump's biggest allies, it's not clear what challenges Wray might face in keeping the federal law enforcement agency independent of the White House.