Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe is a folder marked as “Secret” for him, while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Thursday 11 May 2017, for the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the most important threats for the US. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is considering nearly a dozen candidates to succeed ousted FBI Director James Comey, choosing a group that consists of several legislators, lawyers and law enforcement officials.
White House officials said Friday the president was moving quickly to find an interim FBI director, together with a permanent replacement for Comey, who on Tuesday was fired. Four candidates — Texas Sen. John Cornyn, working FBI-Director Andrew McCabe, a lawyer, Alice Fisher, and judge Michael Garcia interviews scheduled on Saturday.
The list also includes the South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, former Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers and former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly, on the basis of two White House officials briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal planning.
Here is a look at the 11 candidates who are eligible as a permanent replacement for Comey.
SEN. JOHN CORNYN
Cornyn is the No. 2 Senate Republican and a former Texas attorney general and state Supreme Court justice. He has been a member of the Senate GOP leadership team for ten years and is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In the wake of Comey’s resignation, Cornyn said Trump was “in his power” to fire him and said that it would not affect the investigation of possible Russian ties to the Strengths of the presidential campaign.
REP. TREY GOWDY
The South Carolina Republican is best known for leading the congressional investigation into the deadly attack on a U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, a panel that oversaw a long grilling of Hillary Clinton in 2015. A former federal prosecutor and a prosecutor, Gowdy was elected to Congress in the 2010 tea party wave and has focused on law enforcement issues. He originally approved Florida Sen. Marco Rubio for president for backing Trump in May 2016.
FORMER REP. MIKE ROGERS
Rogers is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. He served Michigan in Congress for more than a decade before stepping down in 2015. Rogers worked for the FBI as a special agent based in Chicago in the 1990s and briefly advised Trump’s transition team on national security. His name was suggested as a possible replacement for the then FBI Director Robert Mueller in 2013, and he received support from an association of FBI agents before President Barack Obama chose Comey.
Kelly was commissioner of the New York City Police Department for more than a decade, serving two mayors. In the aftermath of the attacks of 9/11, he created the first counterterrorism bureau of any municipal police force, and oversaw a drastic reduction in crime. But Kelly also came under fire for his use of aggressive police tactics, including a program was about Muslims, and a dramatic spike in the use of stop-and-frisk, which disproportionately affected non-white New Yorkers.
J. MICHAEL LUTTIG
Luttig, the general counsel for Boeing Corp., is seen as a conservative legal powerhouse of his tenure as a judge on the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, and in his time as a Justice Department lawyer. He was considered for two U.S. Supreme Court vacancies that went to Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito. Luttig clashed with the Bush White House in a prominent terror case, admonishing the administration for its actions in the case of “enemy combatant” Jose Padilla.
A deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush, Thompson served as the department of No. 2 from 2001 to 2003. One of his most controversial actions was that the Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar to be deported to Syria, where he was tortured, after being falsely named as a terrorist. Thompson also served as prosecutor of the V. S. for the Northern District of Georgia and held a variety of senior positions at PepsiCo.
Abbate is a high-level official at the FBI, which is now responsible for the bureau’s criminal and cyber branch. He has previously led the FBI offices in Washington, one of the bureau’s largest, and in Detroit. He is closely involved year for the FBI’s efforts to combat terrorism, which in supervisory positions in Iraq and Afghanistan and later supervision of FBI international terrorism investigations as a part of the chief. He is at the FBI for more than 20 years, and is one of the FBI officials who interviewed this week for the role of interim executive director.
Currently a partner at the law firm Latham & Watkins, specializing in white-collar criminal and internal investigations, Fisher previously served as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. Fisher faced with the resistance of the Democrats during her confirmation about her alleged participation in discussions about the detention policies at the Guantanamo Bay facility in Cuba. She also served as deputy special advisor of the Senate special commission that investigated President Bill Clinton’s Whitewater scandal. If selected, she would be the agency’s first female director.
A Duke-trained lawyer, McCabe was called last year by the FBI, the deputy director, the No. 2 position in the board of directors, the supervision of important investigations and operations. Since the accession to the FBI more than 20 years ago, he held multiple executive positions, including the supervision of the FBI, the national security, the municipality and the Washington field office. McCabe was the acting director after Comey was fired, but has shown a repeated willingness to break from the White House, explaining the expulsion and the characterizations of the Russia-research.
A former New York prosecutor, Garcia has served as an associate judge on the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court — since the beginning of 2016. He served as the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan from 2005 to 2008, and held high-level positions in the Commerce Department, the Ministry of Justice and Internal Security.
A former Attorney of the V. S. and the Colorado attorney general, Suthers was elected mayor of Colorado Springs in 2015. He is widely respected under the laws of the state of enforcement, and the many Colorado Democrats. Suthers was inspired to be an officer of justice, after he spent part of an internship in the Colorado Springs district attorney’s office to look into the process of a gang of soldiers convicted for the killing of several citizens, including actor Kelsey Grammer’s sister, during a crime spree in the 1970s.
Follow Colvin and Thomas on Twitter https://twitter.com/colvinj and https://twitter.com/KThomasDC. Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Washington and Nick Riccardi in Denver contributed to this report.