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Senate to vote on FBI pick Christopher Wray Tuesday

WASHINGTON — Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate would vote to confirm Georgia-based attorney Christopher Wray as FBI director on Tuesday afternoon.

The vote comes roughly two months after the Atlanta-based former federal prosecutor was tapped to lead the agency, which is currently investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“I would hope that with all the threats facing us at home and abroad, our Democratic colleagues would not launch the first filibuster of a nominee to be FBI director, especially one who was reported out of the Judiciary Committee by a vote of 20-0,” McConnell, R-Ky., said in a floor speech Tuesday morning

Wray received bipartisan support during his confirmation hearing after he vowed to remain independent of political pressures. The FBI has remained in the national spotlight since President Donald Trump fired Wray’s would-be predecessor James Comey after he reportedly refused to pledge his loyalty to the commander-in-chief.

Wray led the Justice Department’s criminal division during the George W. Bush administration before he transitioned to private practice at the Atlanta-based mega-firm King & Spalding, where he built ties with some of Georgia’s largest corporations.

Wray is expected to be easily confirmed to the position. Both Georgia senators, Republicans Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, have indicated they plan to support the nominee.

McConnell said that the Senate would also vote to confirm Alabama attorney Kevin Newsom to be a judge on the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday afternoon.

The votes come as GOP lawmakers eye a quick escape home after the sudden collapse of the party’s health care overhaul.

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About the Author

Tamar Hallerman is The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Washington correspondent, covering Congress, federal agencies and other government activities that impact Georgia.