The US Senate has confirmed Christopher Wray as the new director of the FBI on Tuesday, three months after President Donald Trump fired his predecessor James Comey.
The criminal lawyer was convincingly confirmed after senators voted 92-5 with widespread bipartisan backing.
During confirmation hearings last month Wray told lawmakers he would rather resign than bow to political interference.
“You can’t do a job like this without being prepared to either quit or be fired at a moment’s notice you’re asked to do something or confronted with something that is either illegal, unconstitutional or even morally repugnant,” Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month.
He assumes charge at a difficult time for the FBI. His predecessor’s public sacking led to accusations that President Trump was attempting to impede an investigation into links between his aides and Russia during the presidential election.
Wray’s first challenge will likely be to reassure the bureau’s more than 30,000 employees of his commitment to their independence, after insisting to lawmakers he would be his own man.
Born into a family of New York lawyers, Wray, 50, graduated from Yale Law School and was a Justice Department prosecutor for years.
In 2003, he rose up to assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division, where he mostly oversaw fraud investigations, including the huge case of Enron, the Texas energy firm that imploded with billions of dollars of losses tied to corruption.
In 2005, he resigned to join private practice as a partner at King & Spalding law firm in Washington and Atlanta.