Cosby accuser to resume testimony in sex assault trial

Thursday, 08 Jun, 2017

Trump's announcement comes one day before former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired last month, is set to testify in a bombshell hearing before the Senate.

If confirmed by the Senate, Wray would take over a job with global responsibilities, but the most prominent ongoing FBI investigation - the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials - will continue to be managed by the Justice Department's special counsel Robert Mueller.

Now in private practice, Wray is a personal attorney for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a major supporter of Trump who is often mentioned as a possible future White House Chief of Staff or other high-ranking administration post.

Wray is best known as a white-collar defense attorney after serving as the USA assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division from 2003 to 2005. He is also expected to refute Trump's previous assertions that Comey assured him three times that the president was not a subject of the FBI's wide-ranging investigation, according to a person familiar with his actions.

During her testimony, she said that, at the end of January, after reading the details of a Flynn interview with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, she had called White House counsel Don McGahn and warned him that Flynn could easily become a blackmail target for Russians based on the answers he gave to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As he did at the Justice Department, Wray specializes in white collar and corporate fraud cases, only now as a defense attorney. Shortly after Christie dropped out of the presidential race, he endorsed Trump, and briefly chaired his transition team until he was replaced in that role by Vice President-elect Mike Pence. He represented Christie, a Trump ally, in the George Washington Bridge investigation, in which two former aides to the Republican governor were convicted of plotting to close bridge lanes to punish a Democratic mayor who wouldn't endorse Christie.

A 2015 letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee co-signed by Wray praises Yates for her "extraordinary legal skill and judgment".

In an early morning two-sentence tweet, Trump said he meant to nominate Wray, a high-ranking official in George W. Bushs Justice Department.

While Wray doesn't have the "range of experiences" that Comey and Mueller before him brought to the FBI, he is "smart, serious, and professional", with a background in federal criminal law, said Jack Goldsmith, a former assistant attorney general who worked with Wray during the Bush administration.

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During a meeting Thursday with editors of worldwide news agencies, Putin nevertheless rejected allegations that the Russian state had meddled in the USA or French elections.

Trump, in a statement later Wednesday, called Wray "an impeccably qualified individual".

Wray left the Justice Department in 2005 and returned to the Atlanta-based law firm King & Spalding, where he's now a litigation partner.

Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat on the Judiciary panel, said he, too, was encouraged that Trump's pick is a veteran of law enforcement "rather than a career in partisan politics, as was rumored over the past several weeks". According to their site, King & Spalding is an global law firm with more than 900 lawyers and has worked on cases in 160 countries.

But in the era of the Trump presidency - especially after his firing of Comey and the numerous reports that followed of Trump trying to apply political pressure to FBI investigations - there is no telling what might happen.

In terms of qualifications, Wray is pretty much bullet-proof. After graduating from law school in 1992, he went on to clerk for a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

Wray would replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who took over when Comey was sacked in May. Conaway said he wasn't given a heads up and told reporters: "You all surprised me on the way in".

Rosenstein was only empowered to make that decision because Sessions in March recused himself from involvement in that investigation due to his role as a top Trump campaign adviser and prominent surrogate.