Tags: Law Enforcement | Presidential History | Trump Administration | FBI | director | James Comey | nomination

DC 'Guessing Game' Starts: Who Will Be Next FBI Chief?

Image: DC 'Guessing Game' Starts: Who Will Be Next FBI Chief?
Former FBI Director James Comey (AP Photo)

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Tuesday, 09 May 2017 07:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Minutes after James Comey became the second director of the FBI ever to be fired by the president, one of Washington D.C.'s most durable "games" began Tuesday, the guesstimating over who President Donald Trump will select to take over the nation's 108-year-old law enforcement agency.

In venues ranging from online columns to local D.C. watering holes, a "Who's Who" of law enforcement officials and politicians will shortly be bandied about as possible successors to Comey.

A onetime deputy attorney general under George W. Bush who was named FBI Director by Barack Obama, Comey was fired by President Trump "on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions," according to a statement from the White House.

"The FBI is one of our nation's most cherished and respected institutions, and today will mark a new beginning for our crown jewel of law enforcement," President Trump said.

Early speculation to be the 10th director of the FBI centered on former Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., onetime House Intelligence Committee chairman and himself a former FBI agent; former New York City Police Chief Ray Kelly; and South Carolina State Attorney General Alan Wilson, son of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C.

Other speculation focused on two longtime Trump political allies, Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. But both are considered controversial and would almost surely have difficulty winning Senate confirmation.

There is a strong sentiment in the law enforcement community Comey's replacement will be a law-enforcement "insider" currently or formerly connected with the FBI Joint Anti-Terrorism Task Force. The Task Force includes all 56 FBI field offices nationwide as well as state and local law enforcement agencies.

Historically, the candidate most-ballyhooed for the FBI directorship does not always get it.

When legendary Director J. Edgar Hoover died in 1971 after 47 years on the job, speculation was President Richard Nixon would turn to a Hoover protégé within the bureau for the job. The names of Assistant Director John Mohr and Assistant Director W. Mark Felt (the "Deep Throat" of Watergate fame) were mentioned most often for the job. Neither of them got it, and Nixon had two acting directors before sending the name of Kansas City Police Chief Clarence Kelley to the Senate and securing confirmation.

When Jimmy Carter named the FBI director in 1977, he had a search committee come up with the best selection. From 235 resumes, five finalists emerged. The unanimous choice of the panel was Neil Welch, former Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI offices in Buffalo and Philadelphia.

Welch once said the best way to reform the FBI was "to sandbag bureau headquarters and rip out the phones."

But Carter interviewed the finalists himself and instead picked U.S. Appellate Judge William H. Webster, who was director until President Ronald Reagan tapped him to run the CIA in 1987.

Webster's successor was another former federal judge, William S. Sessions. Sessions became the first FBI director to be fired July 19, 1993, after President Clinton removed him on grounds of misuse of federal funds for personal travel.

The FBI Director is nominated for a 10-year term but serves at the discretion of the president.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Minutes after James Comey became the second director of the FBI ever to be fired by the president, one of Washington, D.C.'s most durable "games" began Tuesday, the guesstimating over who President Donald Trump will select to take over the nation's 108-year-old law enforcement agency.
FBI, director, James Comey, nomination
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2017-27-09
Tuesday, 09 May 2017 07:27 PM
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