President Donald Trump has nominated a litigation lawyer to be the next director of the FBI.
Christopher Wray is currently a partner at King & Spalding, and chairs the firm’s special matters and government investigations practice group.
He previously served as assistant attorney general under George W Bush from 2003 to 2005.
Trump announced the nomination via his Twitter account.
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
Wray would replace James Comey, who was dismissed as FBI director by the President in controversial circumstances in May and was a central figure into the investigations into possible interference by Russia in the US elections last year.
Wray has already been endorsed by one lawyer with government expertise: Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer partner Amy Jeffress, an Obama-era Counselor to the Attorney General who dealt regularly with the White House and the intelligence community on national security investigations.
Jeffress said: “Chris Wray is extremely well qualified and an excellent choice as FBI director. He is very familiar with DOJ, having served as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division and as a federal prosecutor in Atlanta. His experience as Assistant US Attorney will be especially valuable in leading the FBI, where service in the field and at the career, nonpolitical level is highly valued. He has also worked closely in private practice with Larry Thompson, a former Deputy Attorney General with a stellar reputation. Chris’s experience and connections will serve him very well in this position.”
Meanwhile, Yahoo News has reported that four law firms have turned down the opportunity to represent Trump in the ongoing investigation into his connections with Russia.
It claims that Brendan Sullivan of Williams & Connolly, Ted Olson of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Paul Clement and Mark Filip of Kirkland & Ellis and Robert Giuffra of Sullivan & Cromwell have all declined to represent him, citing prior commitments or client conflicts.
However, a source close to the White House claimed that lawyers were giving the President a wide berth because of concerns that “the guy won’t pay and he won’t listen.”