Just days after it was reported that the frontrunner to replace James Comey as head of the FBI was career democrat Joe Lieberman, it now appears that Trump has gotten cold feet about installing a career democrat as head of an agency that has become rather “sensitive” for the White House in recent weeks, and according to CNN the team tasked by Trump with finding a new director for the FBI “is resetting its search” with Reuters reporting that according to CNN, Joe Lieberman is “no longer being considered for FBI director.“
As we reported previously, Trump last week said that he was “very close” to choosing a new FBI director to replace James Comey, and that Joe Lieberman had emerged as a “frontrunner.” But, as CNN reported on Wednesday, “Trump has since decided he wants to see a broader range of candidates for the job, the official said.” One potential reason as discussed yesterday, is that Lieberman is a partner at the same law firm as Marc Kasowitz, whom Trump has reportedly hires as his private counsel on matters related to the Russian prove.
Meanwhile, AG Jeff Sessions has been interviewing candidates for the job, including acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former congressman and FBI special agent Mike Rogers, and Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush.
Trump has read reports and recommendations from the interviews and met with a few leading candidates himself, a senior White House official has told CNN. There is no set number of finalists that the President has pledged to interview personally.
Of further note: several candidates, including former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, Associate Judge Michael Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals, career FBI official Richard McFeely, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy, have already removed themselves from consideration. Trump had hoped to announce Comey’s replacement prior to his departure for his first international trip, but that scheduled was obviously derailed. As of this moment, it is no longer clear what the expected timing on the FBI successfion planning is.