WASHINGTON – The FBI’s search Monday of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida has drawn attention to the agency.
Two people familiar with the search told USA TODAY the search was tied to Trump’s alleged removal of documents from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago property when his term in office finished.
Alberto Gonzales, a former attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, said he believed a law-enforcement action of such magnitude would almost certainly have involved the sign-off of Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Here is what you need to know about Wray, the man Trump appointed to serve as FBI director in 2017.
What is Christopher Wray’s background?
Wray was assistant attorney general in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration. From 2003 to 2005, I have led the department’s criminal division.
He was also a member of the administration’s Corporate Fraud Task Force, oversaw the fraud prosecutions of former executives at Enron Corp. and led efforts to combat terrorism after 9/11.
He earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 1989 and a law degree from Yale in 1993.
What to know about Wray:Four things to know about Christopher Wray, President Trump’s FBI director pick
Trump nominated Wray to serve as FBI director
In June 2017, Trump nominated Wray to serve as FBI director. At the time, Trump called Wray “a man of impeccable credentials.”
He later issued a full statement that said that Wray was “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.”
Wray said, in a statement at the time of his nomination, that he looked “forward to serving the American people with integrity as the leader of what I know firsthand to be an extraordinary group of men and women who have dedicated their careers to protecting this country.”
Senate approval in July 2017
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to approve Wray as FBI director in July 2017.
During his confirmation hearing, he told the Senate, “my loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law, full stop.”
He was confirmed by the Senate, 92-5.
FBI enters Trump’s home:Trump Mar-a-Lago home in Florida searched by FBI in probe into handling of classified documents
Who was Wray’s predecessor?
Wray replaced James Comey, fired by Trump in May 2017. Comey was leading an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
Wray’s ties to Chris Christie
When Wray left the Justice Department in 2005, he went into private practice with the law firm King & Spalding. He was former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s attorney. He defended Christie as the George Washington Bridge lane-closure controversy played out.
Christie endorsed Wray before his nomination was official. He said Wray is “an outstanding lawyer,” adding,” he has absolute integrity and honesty. I think that the president certainly would not be making a mistake if he asked Chris Wray to be FBI director.”
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Contributing: Kevin Johnson
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism