President Donald Trump has picked Christopher Wray to be the next director of the FBI. Leading up to this announcement, there was some concern that Trump might pick a partisan figure for the job, so is that the case with Wray?
Well, although little is known about Christopher Wray’s personal political beliefs, he was originally nominated to his position of Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the Criminal Division by President George W. Bush. In addition, according to Open Secrets, Wray has donated money to Republican politicians including Tom Price, David Perdue, Johnny Isakson, Rob Portman, and Saxby Chambliss. He also donated to Mitt Romney in 2012 and John McCain in 2008.
Christopher Wray was the personal lawyer to Republican Governor Chris Christie during the “Bridgegate” trial. He also served as U.S. attorney in Georgia during the Bill Clinton administration.
In 2003, when Christopher Wray was going through his Senate confirmation hearings, he was introduced by Saxby Chambliss, a Republican politician
“We are truly fortunate to have someone as qualified as Mr. Wray to serve as the assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division,” Chambliss said. “Former Attorney General Griffin Bell, former Senator Sam Nunn, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson all unconditionally support this nominee.”
In 2008, the Office of the Inspector General conducted an investigation into politicized hiring during the George W. Bush administration. As part of this investigation, Christopher Wray was interviewed, and Wray said that political ideology was never really a factor in hiring to the Department of Justice, although saying that if anything it may have affected conservatives.
“For example, Christopher Wray, then Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, said that politics and ideology only arose in the context of the concern of trying to be more inclusive,” the report reads. “He said there was a perception that in past administrations the career employees doing the screening may have weeded out candidates because the selecting officials were not ‘comfortable with their political persuasion.’ He said the political persuasion he was referring to pertained to candidates who had been in the military or law enforcement, ‘whether you call that conservative or not.’”
Christopher Wray certainly is not as overtly partisan a figure as Trump had been considering. For example, one of the names that was reportedly on Trump’s list was Trey Gowdy, a Republican Congressman.