Search Underway for New FBI Director

Search Underway for New FBI DirectorSearch Underway for New FBI Director

Eight candidates for FBI director were interviewed at the US Justice Department headquarters on Saturday, as US President Donald Trump suggested a decision on a nominee to replace ousted director James Comey could be announced within days.

Trump was scheduled to leave on Friday for his first overseas trip as president. He told AP it was possible he could make public his selection before he departs for the Mideast and Europe.

“I think the process is going to go quickly. Almost all of them are very well-known,” Trump said aboard the plane that took him to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he gave the commencement address at Liberty University. “They’ve been vetted over their lifetime essentially, but very well-known, highly respected, really talented people. And that’s what we want for the FBI.”

Trump abruptly fired Comey on Tuesday and later said Comey was a “showboat” and “grandstander” who was not doing a good job. The firing drew a wave of criticism in large part because the FBI has been investigating whether election meddling by Russia involved people in Trump’s presidential campaign.

Changing rationales for the firing offered by White House aides added an element of chaos to the president’s action.

Comey’s replacement requires Senate confirmation. The FBI director serves a 10-year term but can be replaced by the president.

So far 14 people—lawmakers, attorneys and law enforcement officials among them—have emerged as candidates. The eight met on Saturday with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, throughout the day.

The first candidate to arrive for interviews was Alice Fisher, a high-ranking Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration.

Sessions has faced questions over whether his involvement in Comey’s firing violates his pledge to recuse himself from investigations into Russian interference in the election.

Some lawmakers have alleged the firing was an effort to stifle that FBI probe.

Justice Department announced Sessions and Rosenstein were involved since the FBI director reports to them as attorney general and deputy attorney general.

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