Washington, Aug 3 (IANS) Christopher Wray was sworn in as FBI director, taking the helm of the agency after its previous director, James Comey, was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump in May, the media reported.
“It is the honour of a lifetime to serve as director,” Wray said in a statement after he was sworn in on Wednesday by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“I long ago grew to know and admire the Federal Bureau of Investigation from my earliest days as a line prosecutor to my years as assistant attorney general.
“I am excited, humbled, and grateful, therefore, to have this chance to work side-by-side again with these fine professionals for the good of the country and the cause of justice,” Politico news quoted Wray as saying.
After the swearing in, Sessions said: “As a former federal prosecutor and head of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Division, Chris Wray has successfully prosecuted terrorists, drug kingpins, and white-collar criminals and earned the respect of his colleagues at DOJ as well as bipartisan support from the Senate.”
Wray, a veteran of George W. Bush’s Justice Department, was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, in a 92-to-5 vote.
During his confirmation hearing, Wray repeatedly pledged to act independently of the White House.
He assured lawmakers that he had not taken an oath of loyalty to Trump, as Comey has alleged the President asked of him, and said he would adhere to the law and the Constitution.
It was only the second time in history that a US Senator voted against a nominee for FBI director. The five “no” votes were Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Ed Markey, Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren and Ron Wyden, reports CNN.
Comey, who was confirmed in 2013, received the only other opposing vote in history — Senator Rand Paul voted no after raising questions about how the agency was using surveillance drones on American soil.