Rep. Trey Gowdy (R., S.C.) took himself out of consideration to be the next FBI director on Monday.
In a statement, Gowdy said he told Attorney General Jeff Sessions that he "would not be the right person" to replace James Comey, who President Trump fired last week.
Gowdy, a former prosecutor who chaired the House Benghazi Committee, was one of the first names under consideration by the Trump administration to take the job. He said he shared with Sessions the qualities he felt necessary for the next FBI director to have but stressed it was his "firm conviction" that he was not the right choice.
Rep Gowdy, in stmt, says he told AG Sessions he "would not be the right person" to replace Comey as FBI Director: pic.twitter.com/8v1P5XF9Uy
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) May 15, 2017
"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," Gowdy said. "I am confident that person will emerge."
Democrats have decried a political choice for Trump's replacement due to the ongoing investigation into alleged collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
CNN reported on the candidates who interviewed at the Department of Justice for the spot over the weekend:
- Alice Fisher, a partner at Latham & Watkins in Washington;
- Adam Lee, FBI special agent-in-charge, Richmond, Virginia;
- Andrew McCabe, acting FBI director;
- Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas;
- Judge Henry Hudson, United States district judge of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia;
- Judge Michael Garcia, a court of appeals judge in New York state
- Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser to President George W. Bush
- Mike Rogers, former congressman and FBI special agent.