Did President Nominate Christopher Wray As FBI Director To Deflect From Comey Testimony?

The position of FBI Director has been open for more than a month, so the timing of the president’s nomination of Christopher Wray to replace James Comey is being called into question. Tomorrow, James Comey is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee about possible Russian involvement in the Trump campaign. The president, who has defined his presidency thus far by creating his own headlines, threw out the name Christopher Wray as his nominee to replace former FBI Director James Comey. Wray is best known as the lead lawyer for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his bridge-closing case and as the leader of the DOJ task force that went after Enron.

And Christopher Wray is not the only familiar name from the past that is coming back to muddle through the current situation. Robert Mueller, who is now the special counsel for the investigation, has been at the head of the FBI and has also been in the shoes of the man who appointed him; Rod Rosenstein, the Deputy Attorney General. While Christopher Wray might not be thought of as the traditional “Washington insider” he is considered an insider in the Republican party under George Bush and is someone that Donald Trump has had his eye on for one position or another for some time, but putting his name up for the position of Director of the FBI at this time seems to some like a way for Trump to change the narrative the night before for FBI Director James Comey testifies about his interactions with Trump about the Russia investigation.

Those in the know believe that Trump could have made a worse choice than Christopher Wray when it comes to picking a new Director of the FBI. With less than 24 hours before Comey, the man who last held the job, will be giving testimony about President Trump and his administration, and Wray will be getting a nationally televised front row seat to thecurrent situation he might be stepping into.

But Christopher Wray, who has been a federal prosecutor and Justice Department Official, has to have some idea of what being the FBI Director entails. But considering some of the people that Donald Trump has appointed to other high-level positions in his administration, Christopher Wray is a rather traditional choice and one that could be a somewhat unifying option. Two other names that had been tossed around, Senator John Cornyn and Senator Joe Lieberman, both withdrew their names from consideration, which has led some to believe that Trump was having a hard time filling the contentious position (and it is still possible that Christopher Wray might change his mind). According to Slate’s Leon Neyfakh, taking the job as Director of the FBI under Donald Trump is widely thought of as a thankless job and a potentially career-destroying one.

To many, Christopher Wray is seen as a hybrid of sorts as Wray is a seasoned criminal prosecutor with Chris Christie back in the justice department and then a criminal defense lawyer for Chris Christie in the aftermath of the Christie Bridgegate scandal. Alice Fisher, chief of the Justice Department criminal division after Christopher Wray, says that Wray is a wonderful choice for the FBI position.

“Chris is a wonderful choice to lead the F.B.I. who cares deeply about the institution and already has strong relationships with the F.B.I. His background at the helm of the criminal division offered an excellent experience working on national security, white-collar crime and a range of federal crimes.”

Donald Trump, who says that he plans to stay on social media while James Comey testifies about his interactions with Trump that allegedly led to his dismissal from the position of FBI Director, posted on Twitter that Christopher Wray is his choice.

“I am proud to announce Christopher as my choice as the director of the F.B.I. He is an impeccably qualified individual, and I know that he will again serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity once the Senate confirms him to lead the F.B.I.”


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Christopher Wray is a lifelong Republican who made contributions in the past to Romney and McCain. He did not contribute to any of the candidates in the 2016 presidential election.

What do you think of Christopher Wray as Trump’s choice for FBI Director? Do you think that Trump announced it now to deflect from James Comey’s testimony?

[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

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