Who Are the Top Candidates to Replace James Comey as FBI Director?

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President Donald Trump sent shockwaves through Washington last week when he abruptly fired James Comey, the FBI director who was investigating him for his communications with Russia during the campaign. Concerns about how a Trump-appointed director would impartially handle the investigation were somewhat placated on Wednesday, when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein selected Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to lead the probe into Trump’s contacts with Russian officials.

But the question remains: who will Trump select to lead the FBI? The president reportedly interviewed four candidates at the White House on Wednesday, and said a selection can come as early as Friday. Here are the top candidates:

Joe Lieberman

Lieberman is no stranger to Washington, serving three terms as a Connecticut senator, twice as a Democrat and once as an Independent. The 75-year-old was Connecticut’s attorney general in the 1980s, and presidential nominee Al Gore’s running mate in the hotly contested 2000 election. On Wednesday, Lieberman said that being considered to lead the FBI was “unexpected,” and “not something I was seeking.”

People on Twitter were quick to point out Lieberman’s connections to the Trump campaign:

Andrew McCabe

Prior to Comey’s firing, McCabe had been serving as his deputy since early 2016. He is now serving as the Acting Director of the FBI. McCabe, 49, worked in the bureau’s New York Field Office in the late ’90s, and has been with the FBI ever since. A Democrat, McCabe attracted some controversy in 2015 when his wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, ran for a Virginia state Senate seat. She was endorsed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a friend of Hillary Clinton who, at the time, was being investigated by McCabe and the FBI for her use of a private email server.

Frank Keating

Most well-known for the eight years (1995 to 2003) he served as Oklahoma’s governor, Keating also has spent some time in the FBI. He briefly served in the agency in the 1970s, and was also in consideration for the director position in 2001, when then-director Louis Freeh resigned. Keating, 73, spent years in the private sector, and currently works as an attorney in the international law firm Holland & Knight. If Trump’s track record of loyalty is any indicator, Keating likely won’t get the job. In April 2016, he wrote an editorial in the Tulsa World newspaper titled, “Anyone but Trump.”

Richard McFeely

Of the candidates on Trump’s short-list, McFeely has the most experience in the FBI. The former head of the FBI’s field office in Baltimore, McFeely served in the agency from 1990 to 2014, according to his LinkedIn bio. In 2011, McFeely headed an investigation into the Baltimore Police Department that ended with 17 officers being charged with extortion. Before retiring from the FBI in 2014, McFeely was the executive assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response Services Branch.

Alec Siegel
Alec Siegel is a staff writer at Law Street Media. When he’s not working at Law Street he’s either cooking a mediocre tofu dish or enjoying a run in the woods. His passions include: gooey chocolate chips, black coffee, mountains, the Animal Kingdom in general, and John Lennon. Baklava is his achilles heel. Contact Alec at ASiegel@LawStreetMedia.com.



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