Mitch McConnell Has Surprising Choice to Head FBI

He thinks Merrick Garland should get the gig
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2017 10:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mitch McConnell didn't want Merrick Garland on the Supreme Court, but he does think Garland would be a good choice to head the FBI in the wake of James Comey's firing. "It may surprise people, but he has a deep background in criminal law, he was the prosecutor in the Oklahoma City bombing case, and I think it would make it clear that President Trump will continue the tradition at the FBI of having an apolitical professional," the Senate majority leader said during an appearance on Bloomberg, per the Hill. He said he has made the recommendation to President Trump.

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McConnell also said that Garland's selection would signal "a bipartisan approach" at the FBI, and that he would likely enjoy bipartisan support in the Senate. But the Hill points out that Democrats probably don't want Garland leaving a lifetime Court of Appeals appointment for a 10-year FBI appointment—which could be cut even shorter if Trump sees fit. Still, Fox Business reports that Garland is gaining support from other corners: Sen. Orrin Hatch also recently suggested to White House officials that Garland be considered to head the FBI, and sources say chief of staff Reince Priebus agreed with the recommendation. Over at Slate, Dahlia Lithwick explains that the Garland idea was born last week, and calls it "the most amazing Republican troll job yet." (Read more Merrick Garland stories.)

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