Attorneys in Clackamas County and all over Oregon are scratching their heads on President Trump’s latest appointment: Defense attorney Christopher Wray to head the FBI. Donald Trump has tweeted that Wray will be his next FBI Director. Several hours later there has been no confirmation or report from the White House Communications Department.
Mr. Wray is a partner in a 900 lawyer law firm whose major customer is the Russian owned oil company, Rosneft. Mr. Wray was also New Jersey Governor Christie’s Bridgegate attorney.
This raises a number of questions. Given that Trump’s Russia scandal is looking more and more like Watergate everyday (first TV hearings with Comey start on Thursday AM), why would he pick someone with so close a connection to what could very well be the nexus of the crisis, Russian money laundering?
Was Trump unable to find another lawyer with criminal justice experience without connections to Russia? Having just terminated all 46 federal attorney prosecutors, it seems as if there might be a large pool of lawyers with superior experience and no Russian connections available.
If Congress permits Trump to name as FBI Director, who will not be independent from the WhIte House, does it mean all investigations of conflict of interest cases and other known legal and constitutional violations of the Trump Administration will cease?
It is already clear that the Justice Department is no longer focused on justice. Will the FBI no longer be focused on law enforcement but instead on political enemies?
This appears to be another drip in the drip, drip, drip erosion of core firewalls and traditions which have been critical for the survival of democratic governance in the U.S.