Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is behind the idea of Judge Merrick Garland, whose Supreme Court nomination McConnell squashed, becoming the next FBI director, a former adviser to the Kentucky senator said Sunday.
“I think the senate majority leader thinks that’s a fantastic idea,” former adviser Josh Holmes, who now runs the strategy firm Cavalry LLC, told “Fox News Sunday.” “He certainly thinks (Garland) will be qualified. And (McConnell) certainly thinks he would be somebody that he could support.”
Garland was former President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016.
However, McConnell infuriated Democrats by declining to hold Senate confirmation hearings on Garland, saying the next president should have that choice.
The idea of Garland as the next FBI director was posed by Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee after President Trump on Tuesday fired agency Director James Comey.
Lee backed the idea again on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I think Merrick Garland would be a particularly good option, given that he would have so much support from both sides of the aisle. … I’m absolutely serious about this,” said Lee, who also pointed out that Garland played a key role in investigating and prosecuting the Oklahoma City bombers.
Lee said he didn’t know whether Garland is being considered by Trump, who purportedly has a short list of about a dozen potential replacements.
Several candidates were interviewed Saturday at Justice Department headquarters by Attorney General Jeff Session and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein.
Trump said Saturday that he could name a Comey replacement by the end of this week. However, whomever Trump picks would have to go through the Senate confirmation process.
For Republicans, the Garland idea is complicated by Texas Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate’s second-ranking Republican, being considered for the FBI post.