One of Washington’s favorite games is afoot and the rumor mill is running hot with names of potential replacements for FBI Director James Comey.
In hard news, the association representing FBI agents has endorsed former Rep. Mike Rogers for the position. Rogers is a former special agent at the bureau, well liked on the Hill, and considered an expert on terrorism and national security. His name was mentioned prominently in connection with several intelligence agency positions during the Trump transition. If Trump wants a safe pick, Rogers is probably the one.
But, as The Daily Caller points out, the DoJ has apparently narrowed its list of candidates to four—and Rogers isn’t among them.
In a bid fill the empty slot as soon as possible, a source with knowledge of the interview process told Politico that officials will interview acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, GOP Sen. John Cornyn, former DOJ Criminal Division Chief Alice Fisher and former U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia from Manhattan.
President Donald Trump abruptly fired James Comey from the position Tuesday, a move that surprised Comey. He wasn’t informed of the move in advance and realized what had happened while he was speaking to bureau employees in Los Angeles and news flashed on the screen behind him. He initially thought it was a funny prank. But that prank turned out to be entirely genuine.
The decision was so quiet that White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon also discovered the news in the same way as Comey, namely from TV. Trump reportedly kept important staff in the dark because he was concerned about the news leaking.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are set to conduct interviews starting in the afternoon on Saturday. These four candidates are not the only people under consideration for the position. More candidates will likely be interviewed at a later date. Around 11 people in total are under consideration.
Sessions and Rosenstein are separately conducting interviews for interim FBI director, a spot currently held by Andrew McCabe.
President Donald Trump told reporters Saturday it’s possible he could nominate someone for the position as early as next Friday before he leaves for a trip abroad. While on Air Force One, Trump said that the candidates for FBI director are “outstanding people” and “very well known.”
All of the candidates are Washington insiders familiar with the Justice Department bureaucracy. But which one will be best able to deal with a mercurial president, a hysterical political opposition, and a full plate of vitally important issues from counterterrorism to cybersecurity—not to mention politically charged investigations on Russia and spying by the previous administration?
Given all of that, you have to wonder why anyone in their right mind would want the job in the first place.