ATLANTA -- An attorney with strong Atlanta connections is being seriously considered to become the next FBI director, 11Alive has learned.
Chris Wray, who reportedly interviewed for the job Tuesday, is looking to step into the vacant position left open by James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump earlier this month.
Wray, the latest name to surface as a possible pick to replace Comey, has an impressive resume and local ties. He's a litigation partner for King and Spalding in Atlanta and D.C., and he worked as a prosecutor in the U.S. attorney's office in Atlanta before President George W. Bush nominated him to be an assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's criminal division.
He also played a key role in several high-profile cases -- Wray was Chris Christie's lawyer during the "Bridgegate Scandal," has represented a number of Fortune 100 companies, was a major part of the DOJ's response to the 9/11 attacks and oversaw the Enron task force.
If Wray were to get the job, it would be at a time when the nation's investigation agency is under intense spotlight in the wake of a looming investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. But those who worked closely with Wray in Atlanta told 11Alive's Chris Hopper if anyone were up to the job, it would be Wray.
"He's more concerned about the mission than his own personal career," said Joe Robuck, a former FBI special agent.
Robuck worked with the FBI for 30 years and said he collaborated with Wray on a major corruption case. He called him a "patriot."
"A lot of people when they're in high profile cases, they're in court and are hard to work with," he said. "Not Chris. He was always calm under pressure."
Amy Weil, of the Weil Law Firm, also worked with Wray for part of a few of her 25 years in the U.S. Attorney's office in Atlanta. She echoed Roebuck's sentiments.
"Chris is super smart," she said. "He's an excellent lawyer, he's a nice person, people like him. But he knows what he's doing."
Roebuck said he spoke with Wray on the phone Wednesday morning about the interview.
"It's not within his control," he said. "Somebody else is going to make the selection, but I know that Chris would love the opportunity."
Regardless of who gets the job, they will have to face the Russia investigation head-on. But Weil believes Wray is fully capable of meeting that challenge.
"Chris is such a fair-minded person, and like I said, he's super smart and he's very independent," she said. "He would not be controlled by anybody."
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