With Lieberman Out of Running, Trump's Search for FBI Director Continues

Posted: May 25, 2017 8:45 AM

Although it seemed President Trump was ready to name a new FBI director just weeks after firing James Comey, the search continues now that former Sen. Joe Lieberman is out of the running, Fox News reports.

Trump told reporters last week that he was “very close” to making a decision on who would lead the FBI, even responding in the affirmative when asked directly if Lieberman was his top pick.

But the president received a lot of pushback, especially from Democrats, about the idea of a politician filling the role, regardless of the fact that Lieberman was a former Democrat.

Before Trump left for an extended overseas tour last Friday, he told reporters the ex-Connecticut lawmaker, a Democrat-turned-Independent, was the leading candidate to replace James Comey, who was fired by Trump on May 9. 

But things have changed, in part due to Trump's hiring of an attorney who works at the same firm as Lieberman. Marc Kasowitz, who has worked for Trump in the past, was brought on to represent the president in the ongoing Russian election meddling probe. Lieberman is a partner of Kasowitz’s New York law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres.

With the FBI involved in the investigation, sources said installing Lieberman to head the bureau could present a potential conflict of interest. […]

Lieberman, 75, has extensive law enforcement experience. He was a two-term attorney general for the state of Connecticut, spanning from 1983 until his resignation in 1989 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate, serving from 1989 until 2013- first as a Democrat, then as an independent.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said a “career politician”—regardless of party—should not fill the role, and some of his Democratic colleagues agreed.

“I don’t think there’s going to be much excitement about that from our side of the aisle. Not because we don’t respect Joe Lieberman. But we need a law enforcement professional, not someone who’s run for office before,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill. “We don’t need anyone who’s put on a red shirt, or a blue shirt – or who’s campaigned for president.”

The last search for FBI director took two years, according to US News and World Report.