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The Shrinking List of Comey Replacements

The Shrinking List of Comey Replacements

Hard to pick a front-runner

Earlier this month, President Trump fired FBI director James Comey.  Since then, a number of people of have withdrawn their names from consideration for the post, with the latest being Former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher.

The Hill reports:

A former Justice Department official has withdrawn her name from consideration to replace former FBI Director James Comey, according to multiple reports.

Former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, has removed herself from the White House’s shortlist, CNN and Fox News each reported Wednesday.

Trump has been holding interviews to replace Comey since he dropped the bombshell news last week that he had fired the bureau chief.

The president pledged Saturday that he would move quickly to name a new FBI director, suggesting he would name a new bureau chief before leaving for his first foreign trip this Friday.

Two prominent Republicans have also withdrawn their name for consideration:  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

Cornyn felt obliged to give the position serious consideration because Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked him, but he feels that “Now more than ever the country needs a well-credentialed, independent FBI Director.”

Fox News reports:

The lengthy roster of potential candidates to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey is slimming, with Sen. John Cornyn becoming the latest to drop out of the running on Tuesday.

The Texas Republican and Senate majority whip announced his decision in a written statement Tuesday afternoon.

“Now more than ever the country needs a well-credentialed, independent FBI Director,” Cornyn said. “I’ve informed the Administration that I’m committed to helping them find such an individual, and the best way I can serve is continuing to fight for a conservative agenda in the U.S. Senate.”

A source familiar with Cornyn’s thinking told Fox News he felt obligated to consider the opportunity of leading the FBI out of a desire to restore stability — and because his close friend, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asked him.

Gowdy, too, was approached by Sessions, but he feels that he “would not be the right person” for the job.

Fox News continues:

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., also withdrew himself from consideration after speaking with Sessions on Saturday. Gowdy was out of the country on a House Intelligence Committee mission when Comey was fired.

In their conversation, Gowdy shared with Sessions the qualities he believed to be “indispensable” for the next FBI director to have, and his “firm conviction” that he “would not be the right person” for the job.

“I greatly appreciate the Attorney General speaking with me and respecting my decision and I wish him wisdom as he interviews potential candidates,” Gowdy said in a statement on Monday.

So what about Merrick Garland, a name floated by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)?  According to his close, unnamed associates, the D. C. Court of Appeals chief judge is happy where he is.

The LA Times reports:

McConnell . . . says he recommended to Trump that he nominate Merrick Garland to replace fired FBI Director James B. Comey. Garland, the federal judge nominated to the Supreme Court last year by President Obama, was denied a Senate hearing by McConnell.

Garland has not commented, but close associates contacted several news organizations Tuesday morning to say that the judge had no interest in leaving his current position.

With the list of possible FBI directors growing ever smaller, the remaining contenders, according to Fox News, are:

Former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly is still on the shortlist, and could face less Democratic obstruction in a Senate confirmation process — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., endorsed Kelly to lead the FBI in 2011 when Robert Mueller stepped down.

Kelly did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Others under consideration include former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who was interviewed at the DOJ on Saturday and endorsed by the FBI Agents Association; . . . ; Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; Mayor of Colorado Springs John Suthers; former federal appellate court judge and now EVP of Boeing John Luttig; Director for the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch Paul Abbate; Associate Judge for the New York Court of Appeals Mike Garcia; and Larry Thompson, former deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush.

Personally, I hope the new FBI director is competent, serious-minded, capable, independent, and unlike his predecessor, content to keep himself and his agency above political maneuverings and out of the media spotlight.


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It best be someone with a bureau background, as there appears to be a lot a stink raised by the Comey firing.

That makes the herd mighty thin…

    rdmdawg in reply to Ragspierre. | May 18, 2017 at 1:11 am

    “there appears to be a lot a stink raised by the Comey firing.”

    There is an anti-trump stink all over the land, and it will be there no matter what Trump does. The best thing to do in this situation is the right thing without regard to the pearl-clutching and concern-trolling of Trump’s opponents.

With the announcement of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel, there is no need to further appease democrats with a consensus FBI pick. Go for a hard core, tough on crime guy who will terrorize the leakers in the WH.

Eastwood Ravine | May 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm

Merrick Garland, or someone similar to him, would not be a good choice. If Trump wants someone who will truly be above politics, putting a squishy moderate or liberal is not the way to go.

Democrats/Leftists/Progressives are making jobs in Federal untenable because after Obama’s politicizing (started with Bill Clinton) only radical leftists are acceptable.. God Help the USA

inspectorudy | May 17, 2017 at 10:42 pm

This appointment must be about competency and a background in criminal investigation. Any hint of politics will destroy the Bureau. This might turn out to be Trump’s most important appointment. If he goes for the friendly guy who has thin credentials then he will never get the respect that the office demands and the McCain’s will turn on him.

    rdmdawg in reply to inspectorudy. | May 18, 2017 at 1:07 am

    As if the credibility of the FBI hasn’t already been destroyed by the pure political creatures obama has been putting in there. He has corrupted just about every single .gov agency we have.

David Breznick | May 17, 2017 at 11:12 pm

Pam Bondi

I wouldn’t want Kelly in there, or anyone else dems might approve of. What is wrong with Gowdy and Cornyn? They’re behaving strangely.

    Valerie in reply to rdmdawg. | May 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    They have both declined because they are politicians and therefore non-starters for this position at this time.

    The next FBI director will have to have good political instincts, but not be someone who has been recently involved in the national political discussion.

I’d like to see Sheriff Clarke considered.