Who will replace James Comey as FBI director?

The shortlist has been confirmed

Who will replace James Comey as FBI director?

James Comey. Picture by: Susan Walsh/AP/Press Association Images

There are eight candidates in the running for the position of director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US.

Over the weekend, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein met with the candidates for permanent FBI director, and no more interviews are currently scheduled, according to a US official familiar with the process.

As Trump looks to nominate a new director as soon as possible, here are the people who could be replacing him:

Senator John Cornyn of Texas

Image: Jacquelyn Martin/AP/Press Association Images

Conryn (65) is the Senate majority whip and the No. 2 Republican in the States.

His views on possible Russian collusion are conflicting - most recent comments see him suggest that there is no need for a special counsel to investigate possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

On CBS’s “Face the Nation” last month, however, Cornyn said investigating ties to the Trump campaign is a “legitimate area of inquiry” and “there is no question that Putin is trying to undermine our democracy and undermine public confidence in our institutions.”

He's been critical of his two potential bosses in the past. Jeff Sessions sharply criticised Cornyn’s bipartisan effort last year to overhaul the nation’s criminal justice system.

During the presidential campaign, Cornyn questioned Trump’s tone and suggested that his angry tweets may not always be productive.


Andrew McCabe

Image: Ron Sachs/DPA/PA Image

The acting FBI director, McCabe started his career with the FBI in 1996 at the New York Field Office, spending his time on organised crime.

In an interview earlier this month, McCabe spoke about his priorities for the agency. Most importantly, he wants to put a stop to ISIS.

"That is the scariest thing for me right now," he said. "It's the broadening and intensity of the terrorism threat, the crowd-sourcing of terrorism, the flood of propaganda, the enormous number of folks who have become swept up in that propaganda."

On Russia, he's said Trump's tie with Russia is "highly significant".

He also said the probe would continue and that no one at the FBI felt Comey was doing poorly, contradicting previous White House claims.

"I don't believe there is a crisis of confidence in the leadership of the FBI," he said.


Alice Fisher

Image: J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP/Press Association Images

Fisher — a partner at Latham & Watkins and former assistant attorney general — led the Justice Department’s criminal division under President George W Bush.

She focused on corporate fraud, particularly contracting work related to the war on terror, according to the National Law Journal. However, she was also criticised by Democrats at the time for her support of terrorist detentions at Guantanamo Bay.

She has not yet publicly commented on the Russia probe.


Michael Garcia

Image: Jose Luis Magana/AP/Press Association Images

Garcia — an associate judge on the New York Court of Appeals and former US attorney — has a history of anti-corruption crusades, including the investigation of a prostitution ring that led to the resignation of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, according to NBC News.

He was also hired by FIFA to investigate alleged corruption in the bidding for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. During the investigation, he commented: "My authority is to investigate any official — top down — for misconduct. No one is above the ethics code."

Garcia would be the first Latino to lead the bureau.


Fran Townsend

Image: Twitter

Townsend - executive vice president at MacAndrews & Forbes and a former homeland security adviser to George W. Bush - advised Bush on counter-terrorism, and she is said to have a long interest in cyber-security.

On numerous occasions Townsend has been quick to criticise President Trump. She signed a letter during the campaign declaring him unfit for office, and criticised the immigration ban implemented by is administration. 

She regularly tweets articles about the Russia probe, though she has yet to add much of her own commentary. 


Henry Hudson

Jose Luis Magana/AP/Press Association Images

Hudson - US District Court judge - was appointed to the federal bench by George W Bush, after serving as a prosecutor and the head of the US Marshals Service under President George HW Bush.

In 2010, he declared the Affordable Care Bill ('Obamacare'), "unconstitutional", knocking down the bill’s keystone provision requiring tens of millions of Americans to obtain health insurance.

Hudson said the requirement exceeded the regulatory powers given to Congress under the Constitution, a ruling that made him the first judge in the country to invalidate any part of the law. 

He has not commented publicly on the Russia investigation.

Adam Lee

Jose Luis Magana/AP/Press Association Images

Potentially the least experienced of all the interviewed candidates, Lee has had a diverse tenure inside the bureau, working on white-collar crime, national security issues, and cyber-security as well as serving on a SWAT team for seven years.

Lee has not commented publicly on the Russia investigation.


Mike Rogers

A widely respected former FBI agent, Rogers was previously removed from his role on Trump's national-security group.

Rogers crossed House GOP hardliners when he released a bipartisan report in 2014 clearing Hillary Clinton of any wrong-doing in the 2012 Benghazi incident.

He has previously dismissed the allegations that Russia influenced the outcome of the Presidential election, instead pointing to a more general goal to “sow discontent and mistrust in our elections.” 

"They saw the same polls that we did," he said earlier this month, according to Reuters. "Some notion that the Russians knew that Trump had an opportunity to win this thing more than US public pollsters thought, I find ridiculous."