Search For New FBI Director Heats Up As Fallout Over James Comey’s Firing Intensifies

WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/CBS News) — The Trump administration is working to fast track a new FBI director as the fallout over James Comey’s firing intensifies.

Former U.S. Attorney General Michael Garcia and Alice Fisher — an assistant attorney general under President George W. Bush — arrived at the Justice Department this weekend. They’re among the more than two dozen lawmakers, attorneys, and law enforcement officials emerging as candidates for the the next director of the FBI.

While the search goes forward, the debate continues over how President Trump handled the firing of former director James Comey.

“The developments of the past week are very bothersome, very disturbing to me. I think our institutions are under assault.” former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

President Trump, Clapper says, is responsible for the assault.

Some lawmakers are also criticizing the president for Comey’s abrupt dismissal because the FBI is investigating whether anyone from the Trump campaign was involved with Russia’s meddling in the election.

“The Russians did interfere in our election,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “I don’t think they changed the outcome, I have no evidence of collusion. But the president needs to back off here and let the investigation go forward.”

Graham wants a candidate from inside the FBI to lead the agency. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) says he wants an FBI leader who has courage and experience.

“You need both to be very experienced. That’s important as well. And I think both should be non-partisan, not from either political party,” Schumer said on CNN Sunday.

The president says he may pick an FBI nominee by Friday.

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