With the nomination of Christopher A. Wray to serve as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, President Donald J. Trump has sent a clear signal that the FBI will soon return to its rich legacy as the preeminent law enforcement agency in America.
Since its inception in 1908, the FBI has been widely viewed as the world’s premier crime-fighting agency.
In the late 1930s, the Bureau prepared for war, taking over responsibility for homeland security and ensuring that “not a single act of enemy-directed sabotage was carried out on U.S. soil.”
In the 1940s the FBI in coordination with military intelligence identified over 100 Soviet spies and kept them from getting their hands on the nation’s secrets.
The Bureau vigorously pursued perpetrators of hate crimes in the midst of the civil rights movement, bringing the Nation ever closer to fulfilling its sacred creed that “all men are created equal.”
It leveraged RICO laws to take down entire criminal enterprises, from mafia families and international drug rings, to street gangs and terrorist financiers.
The Bureau has also prevented dozens of terrorist plots and continued to strengthen its counterterrorism and intelligence gathering capabilities to protect the country from the growing threat of terror.
Unfortunately, in recent years this incredible agency’s reputation has been tarnished by scandals with political overtones. Most recently, the former FBI Director’s handling of investigations of both Republican and Democratic candidates wrongly involved the Bureau in the 2016 presidential election.
Mr. Wray’s decades-long track record of integrity, prudence, and commitment to service are exactly what the agency needs to restore the public’s trust and lead the FBI into a new era of crime-fighting excellence.
I can speak from experience as to Mr. Wray’s abilities as a leader and an organizer. When I had the honor of serving as the Deputy Attorney General, Chris was one of my most trusted advisors and an indispensable aide. As Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, his oversight responsibilities spanned the entire Department of Justice, including the FBI. He played a key role on the Corporate Fraud Task Force, coordinating the DOJ’s actions in response to corporate accounting scandals. He famously oversaw the federal investigation of Enron, which resulted in multiple prosecutions and sent a clear message that corporate executives will be held accountable for their actions.
He also worked closely with other top Department of Justice officials to restructure the Department in the wake of 9/11 to better confront and prevent terrorism. He played a direct role in the prosecution of al Qaida operative Zacarias Moussaoui and the Washington, D.C. snipers.
President George W. Bush later nominated Mr. Wray to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s entire Criminal Division. The Senate confirmed him with unanimous consent, showing that, in an era of hyper-partisanship, Mr. Wray’s commitment to the rule of law has helped him rise above the fray of politics.
The incredible men and women of the FBI deserve a leader who inspires confidence. They deserve a fresh start. With Mr. Wray, they are getting exactly what they – and the country – need: a man of unquestionable integrity, vast experience, and the leadership ability to restore trust in the world’s greatest law enforcement agency.