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Mike Lee Floats Merrick Garland for FBI Director

Republican senator suggests Obama’s Supreme Court pick to replace Comey

Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Republicans blocked Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Mike Lee on Thursday suggested that President Donald Trump should nominate Judge Merrick Garland to be the next FBI director.

Garland, the chief judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, is best known as former President Barack Obama’s nomination for the Supreme Court seat now filled by Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., put the Garland nomination on ice.

But Garland made his name as a federal prosecutor, working in the Justice Department in a variety of roles that included supervising prosecutions in relation to the Oklahoma City bombing.

“Instead of a special prosecutor, @realDonaldTrump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey,” Lee tweeted.

As farfetched as it might be, the Utah Republican’s suggestion would come with an added benefit for Trump and the GOP: It would open up Garland’s seat on the influential D.C.-based federal appeals court, perhaps for the nomination of a more conservative judge.

A Lee aide confirmed that the senator was serious about the suggestion, adding that the senator has been talking about the idea for a few days.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a fellow member of the Judiciary Committee, voiced approval of Lee’s idea to put Garland at the helm of FBI.

“Good idea @SenMikeLee. Former prosecutor Merrick Garland for FBI Director is great idea. Need special prosecutor too,” the Minnesota Democrat responded in a Tweet.

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