Wall Street Journal
By Aruna Viswanatha
May 12, 2017
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to interview candidates to be the next FBI director on Saturday, including Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), according to people familiar with the interviews.
Other candidates expected to be interviewed that day include Michael Garcia, who was the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan in the George W. Bush administration and is now a state appellate court judge in New York, and Alice Fisher, who also served in a senior Justice Department role in the Bush administration, the people said.
FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe will also be interviewed Saturday for the job, the people said.
Mr. Garcia declined to comment. Mr. Cornyn, Mr. McCabe, Ms. Fisher or their representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Mr. Sessions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and other Justice Department officials are expected to interview the candidates in a series of interviews Saturday morning and afternoon, the people said.
The search for a permanent director for the Federal Bureau of Investigation comes days after former Director James Comey’s dramatic firing on Tuesday night. The administration has said it would appoint an interim director to serve until the long-term director is nominated and confirmed by the Senate. The Saturday interviews are for the permanent job, which carries a 10-year term.
The interviews cap a tumultuous week, with the White House offering shifting explanations of Mr. Comey’s firing, and lawmakers of both parties questioning whether the dismissal was related to the FBI’s probe of Trump associates’ possible ties with Russia. Russia has denied interfering in the election, and Mr. Trump and his staff have dismissed allegations that members of his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the outcome.
The interview list suggests the agency is casting a relatively wide net for Mr. Comey’s replacement.
Mr. Cornyn, who is a senior Republican lawmaker as the majority whip, has never worked at the Justice Department. He did serve as attorney general in Texas and as a state district judge there. He is also currently serving on the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees, which have primary oversight roles of the FBI, and is close to Mr. Sessions.
Ms. Fisher ran the Justice Department’s criminal division between 2005 and 2008 and is now a white-collar criminal defense lawyer at Latham & Watkins. Mr. Garcia also worked at the Commerce Department and as the acting commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service at the Justice Department, according to his biography on his court’s website. He was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2005 to 2008.
Mr. McCabe, who is now the acting head of the FBI and is also being considered to be the interim director until a new nominee is confirmed, would represent the most continuity with Mr. Comey’s tenure at the agency. He served as Mr. Comey’s deputy since January 2016 and worked to reassure the public at a congressional hearing Thursday that the agency’s work on the politically sensitive Russian investigation would remain unaffected by the leadership void created by the sudden removal of Mr. Comey.
Write to Aruna Viswanatha at Aruna.Viswanatha@wsj.com
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