Senate confirms Trump's new FBI director

The Senate easily confirmed President Trump's pick to lead the FBI on Tuesday, following the abrupt firing of James Comey earlier this year. 

Senators voted 92-5 on Christopher Wray's nomination to lead the bureau. Democratic Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSanders: Trump should confront Putin over Mueller probe indictments Midterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters MORE (Mass.) Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (N.Y.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenators urge DOJ to probe whether Russians posed as Islamic extremist hackers to harass US military families Dems say new emails show Cohen ‘selling access’ to White House Paul faces tough privacy decision on Kavanaugh MORE (Ore.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyHillicon Valley: Hacker tried to sell military docs on dark web | Facebook fined over Cambridge Analytica | US closer to lifting ZTE ban | Trump, Obama lose followers in Twitter purge | DOJ weighs appeal on AT&T merger Demanding accountability from private companies detaining children FCC proposes overhaul to comment filing system MORE (Ore.) and Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyHillicon Valley: Mueller indicts Russians for DNC hack | US officially lifts ZTE ban | AT&T CEO downplays merger challenge | Microsoft asks for rules on facial recognition technology | Dems want probe into smart TVs Dems push FTC to investigate smart TVs over privacy concerns Hillicon Valley: Hacker tried to sell military docs on dark web | Facebook fined over Cambridge Analytica | US closer to lifting ZTE ban | Trump, Obama lose followers in Twitter purge | DOJ weighs appeal on AT&T merger MORE (Mass.) voted against the confirmation. 

Tuesday's vote caps off a largely low-drama confirmation process for Wray, who was approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee late last month. 

Multiple congressional committees, as well as the Justice Department's investigation overseen by special counsel Robert Mueller, are probing Russia's election interference and potential ties between Trump campaign officials and Moscow.

Democrats praised Trump's nominee, saying they believed he could be independent of the president and any attempts to politicize the bureau. 

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"It is really important that we have a strong FBI director. There can be no manipulation," Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinKavanaugh paper chase heats up Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one MORE (D-Calif.) said ahead of the vote.

"Special counsel Robert Mueller most be allowed to proceed with his investigation undisturbed," she said.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) added that he believes Wray would protect Mueller's probe. 

"I regret that he will be the FBI director only because it is the result of an abuse and improper firing of James Comey and the special counsel's investigation of that firing as a potential obstruction of justice is well warranted," the Judiciary Committee member said. 

Trump has taken multiple shots at Mueller, prompting speculation that he could try to fire or direct the Justice Department to fire the former FBI director. 

Wray defended the investigation during this confirmation hearing before the Judiciary Committee.

"I do not consider Director Mueller to be on a witch hunt," Wray said, when asked about the probe by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Senators in both parties have warned Trump against firing Mueller, who is widely respected in Washington from his tenure as head of the FBI. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyKavanaugh paper chase heats up Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Franken offers Dems a line of questioning for Kavanaugh's 'weirdly specific bit of bulls---' MORE (R-Iowa), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said Wray was "forthright" about how he was vetted for the top FBI job. 

"He made no loyalty pledges then, and I expect him never to make such a pledge," Grassley said ahead of Tuesday's vote. 

Wray oversaw the criminal division of the FBI as an assistant attorney general under former President George W. Bush. 

He also represented New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) during the Bridgegate scandal.

The vote on Wray's nomination comes as Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerRed-state Dem tells Schumer to 'kiss my you know what' on Supreme Court vote Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Trump's latest win: More Americans are saying, 'I quit!' MORE (D-N.Y.) and Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellKavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Dem infighting erupts over Supreme Court pick Franken offers Dems a line of questioning for Kavanaugh's 'weirdly specific bit of bulls---' MORE (R-Ky.) are negotiating a deal that would allow them to move a slate of Trump's nominees before they leave for the August recess. 

McConnell predicted that it could end up being a "pretty robust package of nominations." 

Democrats have been slow-walking Trump's nominees because of the months-long fight over repealing ObamaCare. 

Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoOvernight Energy: House to vote on anti-carbon tax measure | Dem says EPA obstructed 'politically charged' FOIA requests | GOP looks to overhaul endangered species law Western lawmakers introduce bills to amend Endangered Species Act GOP senators introduce resolution endorsing ICE MORE (R-Wyo.) blasted Democrats on Tuesday for the maneuvers, saying they were trying to hold up "important and consequential" positions. 

"It's time to clear them all," Barrasso, a member of GOP leadership, said. 

In addition to a backlog of nominations, the Trump administration has also been slow to nominate individuals. 

Of 575 "key positions" tracked by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service the Trump administration hasn't formally nominated someone for 355 of those positions. 

In total, there are 165 nominations currently working their way through the Senate, according to the tracker.