Comey is Out; Now What?

A photo of former FBI Director James Comey.

Photo credit: Brookings Institution at Flickr Creative Commons.

As the saga surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey continues, the focus is shifting from the act itself and the possible reasons behind it to what is possibly an even more important question: What happens next? How will Trump and his team choose new leadership? And how can the FBI restore public faith in the organization?

Kendall Coffey, former US Attorney, has a few suggestions for the next FBI director.

“The profile that you need at this point is someone with solid law enforcement credentials, obviously bi-partisan…and some demonstrated independence. I think that person exists…somebody who the public respects and who will restore all credibility to the FBI,” Coffey adds.

In fact, the Trump administration has already begun interviewing and researching potential replacements. So far at least 11 potential candidates have come to media notice.

For example, Mick Rogers, a Michigan Republican and former FBI special agent, was recently endorsed by the FBI Agents Association. “Rogers’s unique and diverse experience will allow him to effectively lead the men and women of the bureau as we work to protect our country from criminal and terrorist threats,” said FBIAA President Thomas O’Connor in a recent statement.

But Rogers isn’t the only potential candidate on the table. Two current lawmakers—Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas and Republican Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina are also in the running.

Perhaps the most interesting candidate, however, is attorney Alice Fisher of the law firm Latham & Watkins, who was reportedly interviewed for the position last weekend. Fisher specializes in white-collar crime and internal investigations, and she was the Assistant Attorney General under President George W. Bush. If instated, Fisher would be the first female director of the FBI.

The future of the position is, of course, still up in the air. But the Trump administration is likely to move quickly in order to restore public faith in the FBI—not to mention the administration at large.

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