James Comey is out, and the question everyone is wondering is, who Donald Trump has in mind to be his replacement.
Trump explained yesterday’s termination in citing Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Recent comments from testimony Comey gave last week also could’ve been to blame – as he admitted that Huma Abedin had also sent classified information to Anthony Weiner on numerous occasions, and provided the same “lack of intent” excuse as to why the FBI has done nothing in light of that information.
Whoever the replacement will be, certainly it’ll be one capable of recognizing that intent to commit a crime is no excuse for someone in the position of Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, or Anthony Weiner – especially when it comes to the handling of classified information.
And according to the Daily Caller,
President Trump reportedly set to work early Wednesday to choose a replacement for his first FBI director, James Comey.
While Trump’s surprise firing of Comey has led to speculation that he is attempting to cover up the Russia investigation, others are waiting to see who the Republican will pick.
Choosing a loyalist — someone like former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani — would fuel allegations of a cover up of the Russia probe. An apolitical pick, on the other hand, would tamp down on those claims.
Trump’s pick, whoever it is, must receive at least 51 votes from the Senate. Strong opposition from Democrats combined with criticism from some GOP senators about the timing of Comey’s firing makes it likely that the next FBI chief will not be overtly pro-Trump. But whether Trump bases his choice on likelihood of confirmation remains to be seen.
As for the list of candidates, they include Mike Rogers, Trey Gowdy, Mark Flip, Larry Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Ray Kelly, Andrew McCabe, Fran Townsend, and Sheriff David Clarke.
Former FBI assistant director Ron Hosko provided some analysis of the list. He told the Daily Caller that “There is no way Giuliani or Christie will receive the nomination. “Too political/Trumpian,” he says of the two Trump loyalists. Hosko served as FBI assistant director until 2014. He knows and worked with Comey.
Gowdy would also be hampered by his political bent, Hosko says. “Gowdy was so anti-Hillary there would be no consensus, which for the sake of credibility I think a nominee must have,” says Hosko.
Gowdy of course would also be the most likely to revisit the Hillary email scandal, and despite the partisan nature of appointing Gowdy to the position, he has a shot. Republicans hold 52 seats in the Senate, after all.
A lot of people would be very happy with that choice.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]