Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Trump's Possible Picks For Next FBI Chief

Candidate list could include Larry Thompson, Robert Conrad or even Frances Townsend.


By Aruna Viswanatha
The Wall Street Journal
May 10, 2017

President Donald Trump’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey on Tuesday raises a number of questions, including who might be the next FBI chief.

The White House is in a delicate position with this nomination. It will need to pick someone with a reputation for integrity who is well-respected in Congress and by FBI agents. One issue for the White House is many respected national security officials were part of the “never Trump” group who opposed his nomination.

Presidents have often turned to former U.S. attorneys and judges to fill the job. Some possible options include:

Former Bush Administration Officials In The Justice Department

—Mark Filip served as deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush and as a federal judge. He is now a defense lawyer at Kirkland & Ellis.

— Larry Thompson served as deputy attorney general between 2001 and 2003. Mr. Thompson also was a U.S. attorney in Atlanta and a former general counsel at PepsiCo Inc. He is close to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and supported his nomination. Mr. Thompson’s criticism of Mr. Comey’s disclosures about the Hillary Clinton email investigation was mentioned in the memo that advocated for Mr. Comey’s firing. If chosen, Mr. Thompson would be the first African-American director of the FBI.

—Ken Wainstein served at the Justice Department for 19 years, including as the first head of its national security division. He also worked as general counsel at the FBI and as chief of staff to then-FBI Director Robert Mueller. Mr. Wainstein endorsed a letter opposing Mr. Trump’s candidacy, which could hurt his chances.

Former U.S. Attorneys Who Also Serve As Judges

— Robert Conrad, a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, is now a judge in that district.

— Stephen Murphy, a former U.S. attorney in Detroit, is a federal judge in the Eastern District of Michigan.

Politicians


—Trey Gowdy, a former federal prosecutor who represents a South Carolina district in the House of Representatives as a Republican, is best known as leading the House investigation into the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. He was rumored to be a possible contender to be attorney general in the Trump administration.

Unconventional Pick


— Frances Townsend is a former national security official in the Bush administration who is now a television personality. She also served in senior Justice Department roles in her career and is said to be liked by Mr. Trump. She would be the first woman to lead the FBI.


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