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Trump announces FBI director nominee on Twitter

Assistant Attorney General, Christopher Wray, right, and Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Mary Beth Buchanan, hold a press conference, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005, in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) Assistant Attorney General, Christopher Wray, right, and Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, Mary Beth Buchanan, hold a press conference, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005, in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
President Donald Trump used his favorite platform Wednesday to announce he would nominate attorney Christopher A. Wray as the next director of the FBI. (Source: Pool/CNN) President Donald Trump used his favorite platform Wednesday to announce he would nominate attorney Christopher A. Wray as the next director of the FBI. (Source: Pool/CNN)

(RNN) - President Donald Trump used his favorite platform Wednesday to announce he would nominate attorney Christopher A. Wray to be the next director of the FBI.

He called Wray "a man of impeccable credentials" on Twitter, and Trump promised more details to follow. The nominee would need to be confirmed by a majority of the Senate for one 10-year term as director.

FBI Director James Comey was fired by Trump in May, with Comey first hearing it on the news while on a visit to FBI offices in Los Angeles. The moved was criticized by lawmakers, including fellow Republicans, as the director had publicly said investigators were probing ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials as part of its look into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

Trump included in his letter of dismissal that he appreciated Comey "informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation," a claim that has not been confirmed by anyone else. Comey is expected to address his private conversations with the president before he was fired at a Senate intelligence committee hearing Thursday. 

Wray, who served as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's attorney during the "BridgeGate" scandal, was one of two candidates Trump met with Tuesday, said Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The other was John Pistole, a former TSA administrator and deputy director at the FBI.

Wray joins multiple other members of the law and lobbying firm King & Spalding LLP to be tapped for a position in the administration. Among them is Gilbert B. Kaplan, who was nominated in April for undersecretary of commerce for international trade.

Bobby Burchfield, also a partner at the firm, was retained by the Trump administration in January as an independent ethics adviser. Burchfield also represented George W. Bush during the Florida election recount in 2000.

The firm had $3.7 million in lobbying revenues in 2016, according to The Hill. Their clients include the government of Saudi Arabia, Brazilian aerospace conglomerate Embraer and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. It has also employed several former elected officials and federal bureaucrats, with former Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-FL, one of its recent hires.

Wray's name was not among the initial list of candidates floated by the White House, according to Fox News. That list included form Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, Rep. Mike Rogers, R-MI; Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX; former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

Cornyn pulled himself out of consideration, as did former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who had reportedly been a frontrunner for the job. Senate Majority Leader had pitched Merrick Garland, the Obama Supreme Court nominee who never received a hearing, as a potential replacement as well. 

Wray chairs the King & Spalding Special Matters and Government Investigations Practice Group. He served from 2003 to 2005 as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division.

Wray first joined the DOJ’s leadership as an associate deputy attorney general in May 2001. From 1997 to 2001, he served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

Wray's law firm listed a number of his other clients on its website. Among them: 

  • Two different Fortune 100 financial institutions in a number of parallel investigations by the Department of Justice and other agencies, such as the SEC, IRS and OCC, as well as parallel class action litigation. 
  • Several of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies in investigations into off-label promotion issues by the Department of Justice and multiple U.S. attorneys’ offices, the FDA, HHS-OIG, Congress, and various state Attorneys General, as well as parallel False Claims Act qui tam litigation. 
  • A Fortune 100 healthcare company in multiple federal and state regulatory investigations around the country. 
  • A special committee of the board of directors of a leading technology company in conducting an independent investigation of stock options issues. 
  • A Fortune 100 pharmacy benefits company in parallel investigations by the Department of Justice and SEC into stock options issues. 
  • A leading telecommunications company in parallel Department of Justice, SEC, IRS, and Department of Labor investigations into stock options practices. 
  • A leading global financial institution in parallel investigations by the Department of Justice, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, New York Federal Reserve Bank, and various domestic and foreign regulatory agencies. 
  • A leading global financial institution in parallel investigations by the Department of Justice, IRS, SEC, New York Federal Reserve Bank, New York Department of Financial Services, Congress and foreign regulatory agencies.
  • One of the largest global medical device manufacturers in parallel Department of Justice and SEC investigations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues. 
  • Two different Fortune 250 energy companies in conducting internal investigations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues. 
  • A leading defense contractor in qui tam litigation under the False Claims Act.
  • Court-appointment as a Special Master to help the court resolve a discovery dispute between the Department of Justice and a major healthcare company in False Claims Act litigation.

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