Sen. John Cornyn removes self from consideration for FBI director role

Frederick Owens
May 19, 2017

Now more than ever the country needs a well-credentialed, independent FBI Director.

The Houston Republican issued a statement saying he believes he can best serve is fellow Texans and his country by remaining in the Senate.

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Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., also withdrew himself from consideration after speaking with Sessions on Saturday.

Cornyn met with top Justice Department officials over the weekend about filling the job. Larry Thompson, former deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush is also said to be under consideration.

Garland and Cornyn have distanced themselves from the selection process just three days before Trump has said he may make a decision.

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"That illustrates the kind of person I hope and expect will come next", said McConnell. Will he choose a loyalist to replace James Comey? Comey's firing sparked criticism from Democrats and some congressional Republicans, since Comey was leading the agency's investigation into ties between members of Trump's campaign team and Russian Federation, which sought to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Shifting explanations by Mr. Trump and his aides about why Comey was sacked have prompted concerns by Democrats and some Republicans.

When asked whether Sessions involvement with the search raised any concerns - since Sessions had recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation - Cornyn said he did not see any conflict.

The senior senator from Texas and majority whip, Cornyn was the highest-profile candidate for the post. McConnell's comments on his recommendation to the president came during an appearance Tuesday morning on Bloomberg Business.

Others being considered for the role include Alice Fisher, a white-collar defence lawyer who previously led the Justice Department's criminal division, and Michael Garcia, a judge on the New York State Court of Appeals who previously served as the US attorney for the Southern District of New York. The friend spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. They said sudden interest was a GOP strategy to open a seat on the circuit court for a Trump administration nominee.

Democrats aren't likely to support the idea, however, noting that Garland to the Federal Bureau of Investigation opens up a critical lifetime appointment on the Court of Appeals bench.

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