This Saturday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, interviewed eight candidates to fill the position of FBI Director.
President Trump says the administration can make a “fast decision” and has suggested it is “possible” he could announce his nominee as early as this Friday – before he leaves on a trip to Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican.
More than 10 individuals are under consideration for the position.
“Almost all of them are very well known,” said Trump. “They’ve been vetted over their lifetime, essentially.” They are “highly respected, really talented people. And that’s what we want for the FBI.”
Candidates to replace Comey include:
• Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, who worked in the DOJ’s Criminal Division under George W Bush
• Acting FBI director Andrew McCabe
• Judge Michael J. Garcia of the New York Court of Appeals
• John Cornyn (R-TX), a former Texas AG who currently sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee
• FBI special agent Adam Lee, who leads the agency’s office in Richmond
• FBI special agent Michael Anderson, who leads the agency’s office in Chicago
• FBI executive assistant director Paul Abbate, who heads the agency’s cyber and criminal branch
• Former prosecutor Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who has openly criticized Comey for failing to prosecute Hillary after the email investigation
Andrew McCabe joined the FBI in 1996 and served as Comey’s Deputy since 2016. His work includes national security, counterterrorism, interrogation, and investigating organized crime.
McCabe might be at a disadvantage if loyalty is a key factor in Trump’s choice. Last week, he argued that Comey had not lost the confidence of FBI agents despite suggestions to the contrary.
“He enjoyed broad support in the FBI and still does to this day,” said McCabe. He also described the Russia investigation as significant.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Trump’s candidate should not be a “Republican partisan” and should not necessarily be a Trump supporter. “You want him to be somebody who says ‘I’m going to enforce the law…I’m going to be a straight shooter and let the facts fall where they fall.'”
The position carries a 10-year term and will require Senate confirmation.