Saturday 21 October 2017

Who will replace James Comey as FBI chief?

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has been tipped as one of the candidates in the race to succeed James Comey as FBI Director (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke has been tipped as one of the candidates in the race to succeed James Comey as FBI Director (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

With James Comey ousted as FBI director, President Donald Trump has to select a replacement for a new 10-year term, and he is likely to reach outside the bureau to find someone to run the law enforcement agency.

Here are some possible candidates:

:: Ray Kelly - The longest-serving police commissioner in New York City, he was in charge of the force in the years following the September 11 attacks when terror threats were routine. His tough-on-crime stance, including support for provocative tactics like stop-and-search, could make him a natural ally of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr Kelly defended a police operation, exposed by The Associated Press, that conducted secret surveillance of Muslims. He could work with Mr Trump and Mr Sessions on anti-terrorism efforts.

:: Chris Christie - Though his relationship with Mr Trump has been mixed, the governor of New Jersey has known the president for years and could bring law enforcement experience to the job. He is a former Republican-appointed United States attorney in New Jersey, and he cited that background time and again during his 2016 presidential campaign. His legacy as governor took a hit, however, with a Bridgegate scandal that was investigated by the FBI, prosecuted by the Justice and brought down some of his allies.

:: David Clarke - A wild-card, but the outspoken and polarising Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, sheriff has been a fierce supporter of Mr Trump and even landed a speaking spot at last summer's Republican National Convention. A conservative firebrand known for his cowboy hat, Mr Clarke has called himself "one of those bare-knuckles fighters" and has been critical of what he called the "hateful ideology" of the Black Lives Matters movement. But he would be a long shot given that a county jury recently recommended criminal charges against seven Milwaukee County jail staffers over the dehydration death of an inmate who went without water for seven days.

:: Trey Gowdy - The South Carolina Republican led the House committee investigation of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's actions surrounding the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya. Mr Gowdy is also a former federal prosecutor who boasts of his work on drug trafficking, bank robberies and child pornography cases. He was among politicians critical of Mr Comey's decision not to prosecute Mrs Clinton over the email server investigation, saying other government officials would have been prosecuted if they handled classified information like she did.

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