Former federal prosecutor Chris Wray, President Donald Trump’s nominee for FBI director, will testify Wednesday in a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Wray’s hearing comes just more than two months after Trump’s firing of former director James Comey, a career prosecutor who had led the bureau since September 2013. Trump said Comey’s dismissal was based on how the former director handled the probe into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and came at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Later, he told NBC News’ Lester Holt that he had Russia in mind when making the decision.
“I was going to fire Comey,” Trump said in his interview with Holt. “Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”
Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he had grown increasingly uncomfortable in his interactions with the president in the months before he was fired, particularly what the former director perceived as a request from Trump to “let go” an investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
Andrew McCabe has acted as FBI director since Comey’s firing.
Wray led the Justice Department’s criminal division under George W. Bush before moving to the private sector. He’s since specialized in white collar defense, including for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the “Bridgegate” scandal.
Trump announced Wray’s nomination on Twitter last month, the day before Comey detailed his relationship with the president and his involvement in the agency’s investigation into Russia.
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
It took 38 days for the Senate to confirm former FBI Director James Comey after he was nominated by President Barack Obama, according to a tweet from the Senate Judiciary. Other nominees have moved more quickly through the confirmation process.
Hearing for FBI Director nominee Christopher Wray will be July 12. Here's a look at the confirmation timeline for recent FBI directors pic.twitter.com/sQ5MAjA4qB
— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) July 5, 2017