A day before former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify before Congress, President Donald Trump has nominated his replacement.
Trump took to social media June 7 to announce attorney Christopher Wray as his nominee to head the FBI, the Associated Press reports.
"I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI," Trump tweeted out. "Details to follow."
Wray is a criminal defense lawyer currently employed by the King & Spalding law firm in Washington D.C. He had previously served as the assistant Attorney General under former President George W. Bush.
The FBI hopeful headed the Department of Justice Criminal Division between 2003 and 2005, most notably leading a probe into the Enron fraud scandal.
After retiring from the DOJ, Wray represented Republican Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey during a federal investigation into whether a closure of the George Washington Bridge had been politically motivated. While three Christie aides and associates were convicted during the investigation, the governor was not charged with a crime.
Retired attorney Neil MacBride of Virginia praised Wray's nomination.
"I've known [Wray] and worked with him for two decades, in both his private and public sector stints, know he has enormous respect for the Justice Department and believe he will bring the independence and strength needed in this challenging environment," MacBridge told Politico.
Alice Fisher, a former assistant Attorney General who had also been interviewed by the Trump administration to head the FBI, also commended Wray as an encouraging nominee.
"Chris is a wonderful choice to lead the FBI who cares deeply about the institution and already has strong relationships with the FBI," Fisher told The New York Times. "His background at the helm of the criminal division offered an excellent experience working on national security, white-collar crime and a range of federal crimes."
Wray's nomination was announced on the eve of Comey's appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee.
On May 9, Trump fired Comey before identifying a successor to lead the FBI. It was later revealed that Comey had penned several memos alleging that Trump pressured him to drop a federal investigation into former White House national security adviser retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, according to CNBC.
On June 8, Comey will testify before the SIC. The hearing has drawn intense anticipation amid speculation over what details Comey will provide about his interactions with the president.
The Senate panel's ranking member, Democrat Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, has questioned the timing of Trump's latest announcement.
"I think it is more than a little bit curious that the president chose this morning as the time to announce his new FBI head," Warner told CNN. "There will be a time and place to review [Wray]. But it seems to me that this is an effort to try to take people's attention off what is going to be the main event, at least for the next two days."