Mike Lee: Merrick Garland Should be Considered for FBI Director

Merrick Garland (Getty)

Just days after James Comey was fired as FBI director, names continue to be floated around as potential replacements.

One of the more interesting ones is former Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland.

Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) voiced his opinion on who he thinks should be considered for the job. He said in a post to Twitter that Garland would be a good replacement and should be considered for the nomination.

A staffer for Lee said that he wasn’t exaggerating by the tweet, The Hill reported.

“He’s eminently qualified and has the reputation needed to restore public confidence in FBI,” the spokesperson told The Hill.

Garland was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on March 16, 2016. His nomination was to fill the vacancy left after the unexpected death of Antonin Scalia. But the Senate refused to hold a hearing or a vote on the matter, saying the next president should be able to nominate a candidate. His nomination for the court officially expired on January 3, 2017.

It’s an interesting recommendation, as Lee was one of the more vocal GOP members of the Senate that said he would block Garland’s nomination for the Supreme Court in 2016.

“I don’t believe there would be a real substantive distinction, a real noticeable difference between the voting pattern of a justice who would be appointed by a President Hillary Clinton, and Merrick Garland,” he said at a debate in October 2016. “I just don’t think there is much, if any, difference.”

Garland currently serves as the chief judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and before that was a judge on the same court.

He has an extensive background in the legal system throughout his lifetime. He worked in private practice for years and was a special assistant to Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti from 1979-81. In 1989, Garland was named the assistant U.S. attorney for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. In that role, he was a prosecutor and represented the government in criminal cases.

In 1993, Garland was joined President Bill Clinton‘s administration as a deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division of the Department of Justice. He performed well in the role and became Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick‘s principal deputy. His duties in that role included supervising domestic-terrorism cases, with his biggest ones being the Oklahoma City bombing and the Atlanta Olympics bombings.

Whoever it is that’s selected to serve after Comey will have their hands full with an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The next director would need 51 votes to be confirmed by the Senate.