Former Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman formally withdrew his name from consideration to replace James Comey as director of the FBI on Thursday after President Donald Trump selected a lawyer from Lieberman’s law firm to represent him in various investigations into possible Russian election interference.
Lieberman, who was reportedly the frontrunner for the position, said that being considered for the role was “a great honour because of my enormous respect for the men and women of the FBI.”
He added, however, that with Trump’s selection of Marc Kasowitz to represent him, “I do believe it would be best to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, given my role as senior counsel in the law firm of which Marc is the senior partner.”
Lieberman, who served in the Senate as both a Democrat and an independent and who was Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore’s running mate in 2000, now serves as senior counsel at Kasowitz, Benson, Torres, & Friedman.
Trump is still searching for someone to replace Comey, whom he fired earlier this month amid the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has since appointed a special counsel, former FBI director Robert Mueller, to oversee the Russia probe.
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, former congressman and FBI agent Mike Rogers, and President George W. Bush’s Homeland Security adviser Fran Townsend have also interviewed for the top FBI job.
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