The White House is now considering several candidates for Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation following U.S. President Donald Trump’s unexpected firing of then-director James Comey on Tuesday, May 9. As the head of the nation’s foremost law enforcement agency, any new FBI Director appointed by the Trump administration would need to pass a Senate approval proceeding similar to those required of Presidential Cabinet appointments.
Some Democrats are showing resistance, such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called for the appointment of special counsel in the Department of Justice to oversee any investigation into the alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia before any new FBI Director will be approved. The motives behind Comey’s firing has been called into question, and there has been speculation as to whether or not that dismissal was an effort by Trump to obstruct the FBI’s current investigation into those as-yet unproven ties.
Some believe that this motive was confirmed in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, where Trump stated, “And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won.'”
If we don't get a special prosecutor, every American will rightfully suspect that the decision to fire #Comey was part of a cover-up.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) May 9, 2017
On an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Schumer voiced the concerns of Senate Democrats regarding the grounds for Comey’s termination as FBI Director, saying, “If there is interference, or attempted interference, to shut down the investigation, to misdirect it—you need somebody who’s going to stand up.”
Despite these matters and the contention that lies between the Senate and the White House, the fact remains that the FBI still needs a Director, and as of now, the Trump administration will select the person to fill that role, pending approval from the Senate. Several candidates have already been interviewed, and there is reportedly almost a dozen being considered. The new Director could be named as early as Friday, according to President Trump.
“Almost all of (the candidates) are very well known,” he said on his way to a commencement speech at Liberty University, where he recently was given an honorary doctorate.
“They’ve been vetted over their lifetime, essentially. But very well known, highly respected, really talented people and that’s what we want for the FBI.”
FBI Directors are appointed for a 10-year term and oversee some of the most important investigations in the nation. They are expected to be independent and honor the law and the U.S. Constitution, regardless of political party affiliation or personal beliefs. Here are some of the candidates and their qualifications.
Alice Fisher – The sole woman being considered for the position of FBI Director, Fisher rose to Managing Partner at Latham & Watkins, the second largest law firm in Washington D.C. She worked in the Justice Department under George W. Bush as the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division. She was also very vocal about her support for President Trump’s Supreme Court appointment, Niel Gorsuch.
“Judge Gorsuch possesses a keen intellect, commitment to fairness and decency, and a deep and abiding passion for the law,” Fisher wrote in a statement delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee.”He has always brought a thoughtful, reasoned, and practical analysis to any issue.”
Andrew McCabe – Currently the acting FBI Director following Comey’s dismissal, McCabe was appointed to Deputy Director by Comey in early 2016. This experience in the Bureau might make him the ideal candidate, but his ties to Comey might keep this administration from giving him the position.
Michael J. Garcia – Currently a judge on the New York Court of Appeal, Garcia has previously served as U.S. Attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Acting Commissioner of the U.S Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Senator John Cornyn of Texas – Cornyn has been in the U.S. Senate since 2002 and sat on the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2007-2011. He served as a judge on Texas’ 37th District Court before he was appointed as a justice to the Texas Supreme Court. Before winning his Senate seat, he was elected as the Attorney General of Texas. He is considered to be a top contender for the position as FBI Director.
Among other names being considered for the FBI Director position are former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Michigan Representative Mike Rogers, current South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy, and former U.S. Attorney John Suthers.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]