Within minutes of being sworn in as the new director of the FBI today, Christopher Wray made a promise to his workforce: “You can count on me to stand with you.”
In a private message sent to FBI agents and other personnel across the country, Wray said the FBI “must never allow our work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the Constitution and law, and the pursuit of justice.”
“These are our anchors,” he wrote. “We must adhere to them no matter the test. And you can count on me to stand with you in ensuring that nothing distracts us from that commitment.”
That promise comes as he takes over an agency knee-deep in a federal investigation looking at whether any associates of President Donald Trump may have colluded with Russian operatives to influence last year’s presidential election.
Wray’s predecessor, James Comey, was infamously axed by Trump earlier this year. His firing prompted a series of moves that ultimately led the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to look into the matter, possibly including whether Comey’s firing and other presidential actions may have been an effort to obstruct justice.
This afternoon, Wray was sworn in by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has recently been the subject of Trump’s ire after recusing himself from any campaign-related probes.
“Chris has the experience and the strength of character that the American people want in an FBI director, and I congratulate him for being overwhelmingly confirmed to that post and look forward to working with him every day to keep America safe,” Sessions said in a statement. “As a former federal prosecutor and head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Chris Wray has successfully prosecuted terrorists, drug kingpins and white-collar criminals. He has earned the respect of his colleagues at DOJ, receiving our highest honor, the Edmund Randolph Award, and bipartisan support in the Senate.”
Sessions said he is “confident that the FBI, the premier investigative agency in the world, is in great hands with Director Chris Wray at the helm.”
In his own statement after officially becoming director, Wray called it “the honor of a lifetime to serve as director.”
“I long ago grew to know and admire the FBI from my earliest days as a line prosecutor to my years as assistant attorney general,” he said. “I am excited, humbled, and grateful, therefore, to have this chance to work side-by-side again with these fine professionals for the good of the country…