After weeks of searching and multiple rejections, Donald Trump has finally found his nominee for Director of the FBI.
On Monday, the Trump Administration sent the formal nomination of Christopher Wray to become the FBI director to the U.S. Senate. Wray was a former federal prosecutor serving as an Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice from 2003 – 2005. He was appointed to this position by former president George W. Bush. Wray’s Senate confirmation was unanimous.
After his brief tenure at the Department of Justice, Wray joined the Washington, D.C. law firm, King & Spalding. During his tenure there, Wray served as the personal attorney for scandal-plagued New Jersery Governor Chris Christie during the Bridgegate scandal.
President Trump announced his decision to nominate Wray via Twitter in early June:
I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 7, 2017
This announcement came just before the controversial public testimony of fired FBI Director, James Comey. The former FBI director testified before the Senate stating that Trump had requested loyalty, for Comey to consider “dropping” the investigation into Michael Flynn and whether Comey was interested in keeping his job.
Christopher Wray beats out several other picks President Trump had in consideration to serve the ten-year tenure of FBI Director. While Trump had several names in consideration, two members of Congress withdrew their names from consideration.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina both withdrew their names from consideration and expressed to President Trump that they were not “interested” in filling the position from which Trump fired James Comey.
President Trump has had a difficult time filling key positions in his administration. The controversy surrounding his firing of James Comey certainly did not help with his search. When one considers the additional level of scrutiny the next Director will face — above and beyond the standard vetting and scrutiny — it becomes easy to understand why Cornyn and Gowdy would remove their names from consideration.
The next Director will have the responsibility of overseeing the investigation into allegations of collusion with Russia by the Trump administration. The inherent tension that will arise from a Director trying to do his/her job while walking the tightrope that is Trump’s ego will magnify the difficulty of an already difficult job.
Of his official nomination, Wray stated:
“From my earliest days working with agents as a line prosecutor to my time working with them at the Department of Justice in the aftermath of 9/11, I have been inspired by the men and women of the FBI – inspired by their professionalism, integrity, courage, and sacrifice for the public. If confirmed, it will be a privilege and honor to once again work with them. America faces grave threats both here and abroad, and the FBI, in concert with its federal, state, and local partners, continues to work steadfastly to prevent and hold accountable those responsible for these threats.”
Considering the circumstances surrounding the firing of James Comey, it is an unfortunate possibility that Wray’s eagerness and excitement will quickly be replaced with the realities of working for President Donald Trump.
Featured image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images