The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed Christopher Wray to lead the FBI on Tuesday afternoon, greenlighting the Atlanta attorney to take the helm of an agency currently embroiled in political turmoil.
The vote was nearly unanimous at 92-5, and yet it still reflected the division that has gripped the halls of Congress in recent years and has not eased its hold in the first six months of Donald Trump’s presidency. According to the Congressional Research Service, the most votes opposing a previous nominee for FBI director was one.
Senators also OK’d Alabama lawyer Kevin Newsom to be a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Wray, a former Justice Department official during the George W. Bush administration, won friends on both sides of the aisle after assuring senators he would maintain his independence from Trump.
“I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice,” Wray said at his July confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law. … Anybody who thinks that I would be pulling punches as FBI director sure doesn’t know me well.”
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