Senate Democrats said Thursday they won’t accept a new FBI director with a political background, which would seem to rule out former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating, a Republican, and former Sen. Joe Lieberman, who was a Democrat and even served as his party’s vice presidential nominee in 2000.
Those were two of the four names the White House said Mr. Trump was considering to replace James B, Comey, who was fired last week.
“A career politician of either party or anyone who suggests a lack of impartiality should not be considered,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, said on the chamber floor.
The FBI will provide the investigative muscle for the new special counsel named Wednesday to oversee the probe into Trump campaign figures’ dealings with Russia.
“This appointment is so important that we should try to insist on someone who has no political background,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut Democrat, said during a judiciary committee meeting.
Other Democrats during the committee meeting applauded the selection of Robert S. Mueller III as the special counsel for the Russia investigation, but they said it doesn’t mean they’re dropping their own inquiry.
“There’s still much that we don’t know. Specifically, questions have been raised about not only the reasons Comey was fired, but also whether the FBI has been able to act independently of the chief executive,” said the committee’s top Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “We, after all, are the committee with primary jurisdiction over the FBI and the Justice Department.”
• Alex Swoyer contributed to this article.
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