South Carolina Republican Trey Gowdy said Monday that he is not “the right person” to be the next FBI director after discussing the job with Attorney General Jeff Sessions twice.
“Our country and the women and men of the FBI deserve a Director with not only impeccable credentials but also one who can unite the country as we strive for justice and truth,” said Gowdy, who became a divisive figure while presiding over the House Select Committee on Benghazi and questioning former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Gowdy, who represents South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, was a federal prosecutor from 1994 to 2000 in South Carolina and also served as a district attorney before entering Congress in 2011. Gowdy, 52, was among 11 candidates on a White House list to replace Comey, who was unexpectedly fired by President Donald Trump last week. Gowdy said he spoke with Sessions on Saturday and Monday.
“I shared with (Sessions) two things: (1) the qualities I believe are indispensable for our next FBI Director to possess, and (2) my firm conviction that I would not be the right person. I greatly appreciate the Attorney General speaking with me and respecting my decision and I wish him wisdom as he interviews potential candidates,” Gowdy said.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the next FBI director should not be a politician.
“I think it’s now time to pick someone who comes from within the ranks or has such a reputation that has no political background at all that can go into the job on day one,” Graham said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”
Candidate interviews began over the weekend. Among the other candidates are: Texas Sen. John Cornyn, House Intelligence Committee Chairman and former FBI agent Mike Rogers, former New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, FBI Executive Assistant Director Paul Abbate, Associate Judge of New York Court of Appeals Mike Garcia, Mayor of Colorado Springs John Suthers, Boeing Executive Vice President and former federal appellate court Judge Michael Luttig, former Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe.