The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly to confirm Christopher Wray as the next FBI director, replacing James Comey who was fired by President Donald Trump amid an investigation into Russia’s alleged election interference.
The Senate voted 92 to 5 to confirm Wray, who served as U.S. Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division from 2003 to 2005. He most recently worked on white-collar crime and regulatory cases as a partner at the King & Spalding law firm.
Wray’s nomination received support from both Republicans and Democrats, with only 5 Democrats voting against his nomination, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
Trump previously praised Wray for his work at the Justice Department in the Bush administration. “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 FBI,” Trump said in June.
Wray will succeed Comey, who was fired by the president on May 9. Trump initially said he fired Comey at the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but Rosenstein later testified that Trump had already decided to fire Comey.
Comey has since testified that Trump, after asking for loyalty during a dinner in January, had suggested dropping the FBI’s investigation into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was fired over his contact with Russia’s ambassador. Trump has denied the allegations.
The firing of Comey led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
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