Christopher Wray confirmed as new FBI director, to replace James Comey
Christopher Wray has been confirmed as the new FBI director in a 92-5 Senate vote, replacing James Comey and thrusting himself squarely in the middle of the investigation into the Trump campaign's possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 election.
Wray, 50, received overwhelmingly bipartisan support 92-5 on the Senate floor.
"The FBI is our country's top law enforcement agency and it needs a qualified leader committed to upholding the rule of law and protecting its independence. I'm confident that Christopher Wray is up to that considerable task," said Senator Dianne Feinstein, Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"He said he would resign if President Trump asked him to do anything illegal, and that he would consider any effort to tamper with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation to be unacceptable," she said.
Mueller's team is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.
A former high-ranking official in President George W Bush's Justice Department who oversaw investigations into corporate fraud, Wray takes up the top job at a critical juncture marked by the ouster of Comey.
Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin said the next FBI Director will be under incredible scrutiny. "America needs an FBI Director who will face that pressure with integrity, independence, and a firm commitment to the rule of law," he said.
"He may also have to stand up to this President if the interests of justice demand it. I believe Wray can do that, and Congress will be closely monitoring the FBI to ensure Wray is effectively serving the American people and the rule of law," Durbin said.
Wray is a proven public servant with an impressive law enforcement track record, and he is well-equipped to take the reins of the FBI during these challenging times, Senator Tom Carper said .
In a statement, Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Trump's firing of Comey and his continuing public criticism and intimidation of Attorney-General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein shows that "the President has little respect for the rule of law or separation of powers".
" Wray will have a steep challenge ahead of him as he swears to support and defend the Constitution," he said.
In May, President Trump fired the director of the FBI James Comey, leading a criminal investigation into whether Trump's advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.