The Comey firing and its fallout_00000224.jpg
The Comey firing and its fallout
08:46 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

The candidates are being considered as permanent replacements

McCabe assumed the position of acting director Tuesday

Washington CNN  — 

The Trump administration is moving quickly to select the next director of the FBI, interviewing several candidates Saturday and trying to schedule more for Sunday, if possible.

At least eight candidates for the bureau’s top spot headed to the Department of Justice on Saturday to interview for the position, which was vacated when James Comey was fired this week. They include former Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, former George W. Bush homeland security adviser Fran Townsend, former Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher, special agent Adam Lee, acting Director Andrew McCabe, Sen. John Cornyn and judges Michael Garcia and Henry Hudson, all of whom were either spotted by CNN entering the building or were expected to be seen later Saturday.

Interviews with additional individuals are expected Sunday if they can be arranged, a senior White House official said.

President Donald Trump will read reports and recommendations from the interviews and then meet with a few leading candidates himself, the official said. There is no set number of finalists that the President has pledged to interview personally.

McCabe assumed the position of acting director on Tuesday by statute after Trump dramatically fired Comey. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, interviewed several candidates for the interim position on Wednesday, including Lee, who is the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond, Va., office.

Rogers was a former FBI special agent and chairman of the House intelligence committee before becoming a CNN national security commentator and has the endorsement of the FBI Agents Association. Townsend served as an acting deputy assistant attorney general and head of the intelligence policy office in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton before going on to work in the Bush administration and then as a CNN and CBS analyst. Fisher previously served as assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, also under Bush. Garcia is a judge on the New York Court of Appeals, and Hudson is a federal district court judge in Virginia. Cornyn, the Senate majority whip, is the second-highest ranking Republican in the chamber, meaning his possible appointment would trigger political moves both there and in his home state of Texas.

Trump has promised to move quickly to nominate someone to the 10-year term.

“These are outstanding people that are very well known – highest level,” Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Saturday. “So we can make a fast decision.”

Trump added that it’s “possible” he would hire a new director before he departs for his first foreign trip on Friday.