Christopher Wray’s Law Experience & Notable Cases: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Christopher Wray speaks at speak Justice Department on November 4, 2003 in Washington DC. (Getty)

Christopher Wray is Donald Trump’s pick to be the next director of the FBI.

Wray from 2003 through 2005 served as assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. He in recent years has worked in private practice for the law firm King & Spalding.

So what are some of the notable cases Christopher Wray has worked on that might inform his work as FBI director? Here’s what you need to know.

1. He Was an Integral Part of the Justice Department’s Response to 9/11

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Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. (Getty)

Christopher Wray began working at the Justice Department in May 2001, just four months before 9/11. He started off in the Justice Department as associate deputy attorney general.

Wray subsequently became a major part of the Justice Department’s response to the September 11th terrorist attack. His profile page on King & Spalding notes that he “was integral to the DOJ’s response to the 9/11 attacks and played a key role in the oversight of legal and operational actions in the continuing war on terrorism.”

During Christopher Wray’s 2003 confirmation hearing, Senator Chambliss noted that Wray “has specifically focused on counterterrorism initiatives since September 11, 2001, attending daily classified FBI and CIA briefings.”

Wray said during his confirmation hearing, “We have never, as you know, experienced anything as savage and cowardly as the attack that occurred on September 11th, and we must do everything within our power, within the Constitution and the law, to make sure it never happens again.”

Wray also noted, “I have been involved in just about every significant terrorism prosecution and investigation that the Department has had since September 11, whether in Virginia or in New York or Chicago, Buffalo, Portland.”

2. He Lead the Enron Investigation

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The logo for Enron is seen at the company’s headquarters on Enron November 29th, 2001. (Getty)

While at the Department of Justice, Christopher Wray lead the Enron investigation.

This was, of course, the investigation into an energy, commodities, and services company that was found to committing accounting fraud. In investigating the scandal, the federal government hoped to “to learn how company officials perpetrated fraud on such a grand scale, build a strong criminal case, and hold accountable those responsible,” the FBI says.

The Enron Task Force lasted five years and culminated in Enron officials being convicted.

According to Politico, alongside Christopher Wray, one of the leaders of the Enron Task Force was Andrew Weissman, who now works as a top deputy to Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating potential ties between the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government.

3. He Served on President Bush’s Corporate Fraud Task Force

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George W. Bush in 2007. (Getty)

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed an executive order creating a Corporate Fraud Task Force with the purpose of rooting out corruption in the wake of several high profile accounting scandals.

The assistant attorney general for the criminal division was a part of this task force, and Wray served in this position during the Bush administration. The task force also included the director of the FBI, who at the time was Robert Mueller.

The Corporate Fraud Task Force was terminated in 2009 by President Barack Obama, who created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

4. He Was Chris Christie’s Lawyer During Bridgegate

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Chris Christie takes questions at a news conference on March 3, 2016. (Getty)

During the Bridgegate trial, in which Chris Christie and members of his staff were investigated for attempting to create traffic jams in Fort Lee for political reasons, Christopher Wray served as Chris Christie’s personal lawyer.

At this point, Wray had left the Justice Department and was working at the law firm King and Spalding.

A major story in the Bridgegate trial became Chris Christie’s cell phone, as defendants were attempting to subpoena the phone because it would have had text messages and emails from when Bridgegate took place. Chris Christie said he had no idea where the phone was, and for a while, the device was missing.

But then, in July 2016, the phone was found to be in the possession of Christopher Wray, according to Defendants were not able to get a subpoena for the phone, and so its contents were never seen.

5. He Has Represented Fortune 100 Companies Being Investigated by the Government

In his private practice at King and Spalding, Christopher Wray focuses on white-collar crime.

Wray has represented a number of Fortune 100 companies being investigated by the Department of Justice. According to the King and Spalding website, some of Wray’s recent cases have included:

  • Two Fortune 100 financial institutions being investigated by the Department of Justice, as well as by the SEC, IRS and OCC
  • A Fortune 100 healthcare company involved in several regulatory investigations
  • A Fortune 100 pharmacy benefits company being investigated by the Department of Justice and SEC
  • A Fortune 100 transportation company conducting internal investigations into Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues
  • Two Fortune 250 energy companies conducting internal investigations into Foreign Corrupt Practices Act issues

He also represented several pharmaceutical companies being investigated for off-label promotion issues.

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