US President Donald Trump has nominated former justice department official Christopher Wray as the new FBI director.
“I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday.
Wray emerged from a list of former prosecutors, politicians and law enforcement officials interviewed by Trump since the president fired FBI Director James Comey last month.
Wray works at the King & Spalding law firm. He represented New Jersey Governor Chris Christie during the investigation into the George Washington Bridge lane-closing case.
Mr Trump, who has shown no small ability to create headlines, especially to replace negative ones about him, used Twitter to make his announcement. He did so just hours before four intelligence officials are due to give testimony on Capitol Hill about the Russia investigation, and a day before Mr Comey is himself scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Two former Christie aides were convicted of plotting to close bridge lanes to punish a Democratic mayor who would not endorse the Republican governor.
Wray worked in the Justice Department during the George W Bush administration, serving as an assistant attorney general from 2003 to 2005.
Comey had been leading an FBI investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with Trump’s campaign when he was fired.
His dismissal prompted concerns about the integrity of the inquiry and renew calls for an independent investigation.
Comey had been embroiled in a controversy surrounding his investigation into whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while US secretary of state during Barack Obama’s first term as president compromised national security.
“It is essential that we find new leadership for the FBI that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law-enforcement mission,” Trump said in a letter to Comey released by the White House.
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