The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly confirmed Christopher Wray to lead the FBI, replacing James Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump amid the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election.
Tuesday’s vote was 92-5 for Christopher Wray. The lawyer was a high-ranking official in former president George W. Bush’s Justice Department, who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud.
Wray, 50, inherits the FBI at a particularly challenging time given Trump’s ousting of Comey, who was admired within the bureau.
“This is a tough time to take this tough job,” Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said during a relatively low-key Senate debate of the nomination.
“The previous FBI director, as we know, was fired because of the Russia investigation. The former acting attorney general was fired. And we’ve had a slew of other firings throughout the government over the last few months.”
‘Character and competence’
Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said after the vote, “Chris Wray will bring character and competence to a city that is hemorrhaging public trust.”
Wray won unanimous support from the Senate judiciary committee last month, with Republicans and Democrats praising his promise never to let politics get in the way of the bureau’s mission.
Asserting his independence at his confirmation hearing, Wray said: “My loyalty is to the constitution and the rule of law. Those have been my guideposts throughout my career, and I will continue to adhere to them no matter the test.”
Trump roiled Washington on May 9 by firing Comey in the midst of his 10-year term as the FBI chief and as the law enforcement agency was investigating Russia’s role in the election and possible ties to Trump campaign officials.
Andrew McCabe has served as acting FBI director during the nearly three-month interim period.
Wray has worked on white-collar crime and regulatory cases as a partner at the King & Spalding law firm. From May 2001 to May 2005, he held various high-ranking positions in the Justice Department, rising to the head of the criminal division in September 2003. He also served as principal associate deputy attorney general.
He was a federal prosecutor in the U.S. attorney’s office for…