Reports: Trump vets FBI chief candidate with deep Atlanta ties

President Donald Trump is vetting a candidate for FBI director with deep roots in Georgia as he resumes his search to replace Jim Comey, the former chief of the federal agency he dismissed earlier this month.

Multiple media outlets report that Trump is set to interview Chris Wray, a former assistant attorney general who led the Justice Department’s criminal division under George W. Bush.

Wray started as an attorney at Atlanta-based legal giant King & Spalding in 1993 and served between 1997 and 2001 as an assistant U.S. Attorney in Atlanta.

He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2003 and led the criminal division for two years before returning to King & Spalding as a partner with offices in Atlanta and Washington.

Trump has struggled to find a successor to Comey after his controversial decision to oust the FBI chief and a string of candidates, including former Sen. Joe Lieberman, are either out of contention or have withdrawn their names from consideration.

He is also said to be considering John Pistole, a former deputy FBI director who was President Barack Obama’s head of the Transportation Security Administration.

Here’s a little more about Wray from a 2005 AJC profile:

His first day at the Justice Department required him to sort out how the FBI misplaced files in the trial of Timothy McVeigh, who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City 10 years ago.

 

And the frenetic pace never stopped. Two months later, the 19 al-Qaida terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in rural Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people.

 

During his time at Justice, Wray also worked closely with [then- Deputy Attorney General Larry] Thompson to bring indictments against individuals at energy giant Enron and HealthSouth Corp.

 

In addition to helping secure indictments against terror cells operating in America, Wray helped coordinate the investigation of the Washington area snipers.

 

Under his watch, the criminal division dealt blows to drug traffickers, intellectual property thieves and distributors of child pornography.

 

“I think a lot of people thought all the focus would be on terrorism and everything else would go into the ditch, ” Wray said. “In fact, I think we’ve accomplished incredible things. I feel so fortunate to have had this job in this time.”

 

Another interesting fact about Wray: The family of his wife, Helen, has lived in Atlanta for seven generations and her great-grandfather, Clark Howell, once owned The Atlanta Constitution.


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