Trump nominates Christie’s ex-Bridgegate lawyer to lead FBI
WASHINGTON — Gov. Chris Christie's former personal lawyer, Christopher Wray, is set to become the next director of the FBI.
President Donald Trump, in a tweet Wednesday morning, announced the nomination and called Wray "a man of impeccable credentials."
Last week, after Wray, 50, emerged as a candidate, Christie said is an "outstanding guy" and the president "would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI Director." Christie was confident Wray would provide great leadership at the FBI.
He said they had worked together a lot when both worked in the state attorney general's office on a case against Bristol Myers Squibb. Wray was a former U.S. assistant attorney general who represented the governor following the Bridgegate scandal.
The governor would not say if he recommended Wray to the president.
During an appearance in Livingston on Wednesday, Christie said when he needed legal representation during the Bridgegate investigation Wray was the one attorney he called. "I can’t give a better recommendation than that. I think that the President of the United States should be commended. He did a deliberative process. He met lots of people, from what I understand. And in the end when I heard that he had made the choice of Chris Wray, I commend him for it, the president made an outstanding choice, a non-political choice. One I think people in law enforcement will all be thrilled to know that they’ve got a smart, independent voice and a person who has a great amount of integrity as anyone I’ve ever worked with. The FBI will be well-served.”
"I look forward to serving the American people with integrity as the leader of what I know firsthand to be an extraordinary group of men and women who have dedicated their careers to protecting this country," Wray said on Wednesday about his nomination.
Wray served in a leadership role in the George W. Bush Justice Department, rising to head the criminal division and overseeing investigations into corporate fraud, during the time when Comey was deputy attorney general. Wray took charge of a task force of prosecutors and FBI agents created to investigate the Enron scandal.
The FBI Agents Association had a cautious approach to Wray's nomination and said in statement they looked forward to meeting with the nominee to better understand his views on the FBI, special agents and the criminal and national security threats agents face daily.
Wray has been a partner in the King & Spalding law firm in 2005 and works in their Atlanta, Washington and New York offices. He received his law degree from Yale in 1992.
Michael Symons and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.
More from New Jersey 101.5: