UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 2: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, takes his seat for the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Continued Oversight of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act" on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Senator Lee Has a Suggestion for FBI Director, and it’s Turning Heads

Who’s going to replace embattled former Director James Comey as head of the FBI?

With the sudden axing of Comey, and the [unexpected?] political fallout turning DC into a boiling pot of hyperbole, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) has thrown a bit of salt into the water to calm everyone down. Will it work?


Garland, best known for being the failed Supreme Court nomination of President Obama last year, has a long history in Washington, both in private practice and the Department of Justice. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School, he soon became a special assistant to Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti from 1979 to 1981. After spending the next eight years in private practice at Arnold & Porter, he left, as a partner, to become assistant US Attorney in the DC office. There, he gained notoriety as one of three prosecutors who investigated Washington, DC mayor Marion Barry for cocaine charges.

In 1993, Garland had his first taste of the counterterrorism world when he was asked to join Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorlick’s team. This is where he developed the resume that would most likely factor in a possible role as FBI Director. In that office, he supervised high profile domestic terrorism cases, from Atlanta, and the Unabomber to the Oklahoma City bombing at the Alfred P Murrah building in 1995. In fact, he personally insisted he be assigned to the case on-site in OKC. During this time he represented the government in early hearings with the defendants Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. Republican Governor Frank Keating has heaped praise upon Garland for his work on running the team that oversaw the investigation and prosecution.

Political leaders on both sides of the political aisle have shown rare pause at the suggestion, perhaps implying that it would be a widely supported move, and possibly take a hot political topic off the front burner for Republicans on the Hill, itching to move forward on their legislative agenda.

Garland may not have been fated to be our next Supreme Court Justice, but the longtime public servant could do well as an FBI Director. He has, by all accounts developed a restrained, sharp, persistent reputation during his years in DC. Time will tell in the coming days if this takes hold, and support galvanizes around Garland.

So far, the idea has one Democrat Senator on board…


Not so sure on that “special prosecutor,” but I digress.

About the author

Ed Willing

View all posts