Washington: Christopher Wray on Thursday assumed charge as the new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director and pledged to work for the good of the US and the cause of justice.

A former US assistant attorney for the criminal division, Wray, 50, replaces James Comey, who was abruptly fired by President Donald Trump amid a probe into Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia to influence the last year’s presidential election.

He was sworn in as the eighth director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by attorney general Jeff Sessions who lauded his “spirit" and “strength of character". Wray, who was confirmed by the US Senate through an overwhelming majority of 92-5 votes on the Senate floor, termed it “the honour of a lifetime" to serve as the director.

“It is the honour of a lifetime to serve as director. I long ago grew to know and admire the FBI from my earliest days as a line prosecutor to my years as assistant attorney general," Wray said in a statement after being sworn in.

“I am excited, humbled and grateful, therefore, to have this chance to work side-by-side again with these fine professionals for the good of the country and the cause of justice," he said. In a statement, Sessions praised Wray’s “spirit" and “strength of character," saying: “I am confident that the FBI, the premier investigative agency in the world, is in great hands with director Chris Wray at the helm."

“I congratulate him for being overwhelmingly confirmed to that post and look forward to working with him every day to keep America safe," he said. As a former federal prosecutor and head of the Department of justice’s Criminal Division, Wray has successfully prosecuted terrorists, drug kingpins, and white-collar criminals, Sessions said.

FBI directors are approved by the Senate to serve for 10 years, but the president has unilateral authority to fire them at any time. PTI

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