Trump's New FBI Director Christopher Wray Was Just Confirmed By The Senate

FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate is slated

Five Democrats cast their ballots Tuesday afternoon opposing the confirmation of Christopher Wray, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the country's top investigative agency.

Wray will take control of the law enforcement agency, which is now investigating the Trump campaign's alleged contacts with Russian officials before and after last year's election, roughly three months after Trump unceremoniously fired then-FBI Director James Comey, reportedly because Comey would not assure the president of his personal loyalty.

The 50-year-old former Justice Department lawyer was approved by a 92-5 vote. Wray was a former federal prosecutor in Atlanta before joining the George W. Bush Justice Department as it dealt with the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.

The U.S. leader even claimed that he is "not under investigation" over the alleged meddling. "Mr. Wray's record of service, and his reputation, give us no reason to doubt him", committee chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said Tuesday.

Trump has also brought renewed attention to allegations involving acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, claiming that McCabe once received $700,000 from Hillary Clinton for his wife's state Senate campaign.

Despite the extraordinary circumstances that led him to the post, Wray's confirmation was relatively smooth.

Wray served under Comey as assistant attorney general of the Justice Department's Criminal Division during the Bush Administration and has been a partner at the law firm King & Spalding since 2005.

Before the vote, Democrats highlighted how Wray said at his confirmation hearing that he would resist efforts to interfere with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and that if Trump asked him to do something unethical or unlawful he would first try to talk him out of it.

Voting against the nomination were five Democrats who have opposed many of Mr Trump's nominees: Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey of MA, and Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Wray's first challenge will likely be to reassure the bureau's more than 30,000 employees of his commitment to their independence, after insisting to lawmakers he would be his own man. The firing also cause Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee investigations into Russian interference in the election.

The bipartisan confirmation comes as Republicans in the Senate accuse Democrats of enforcing an "unprecedented nominations blockade".



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