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Interim FBI director likely to be named as soon as Wednesday

Fallout of FBI director's firing

The Justice Department is likely to name an interim FBI chief as soon as Wednesday, a day after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The attorney general and his deputy have interviewed these candidates for the job so far:

  • Adam Lee -- Special Agent in Charge (SAC) FBI in Richmond
  • Michael Anderson -- SAC FBI in Chicago
  • Paul Abbate -- FBI headquarters assistant director of the Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
  • Bill Evanina -- Counterintelligence executive at Office of the Director of National Intelligence
FBI officials "stunned" by James Comey firing

The law dictates that the agency's deputy director, Andrew McCabe would automatically become the "acting" FBI chief as soon as the director is unable to serve for any reason. But the Trump administration will be naming an interim director soon, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are interviewing candidates for the position, according to a DOJ official. The interim director is not the permanent director, but will remain in place until the president nominates a new director.

Under the law, the interim director must currently be employed at the top of the federal government payscale, at GS-15 or higher, and currently employed by the federal government, although an exception might be made for a candidate who has been employed by the government within the last 120 days.

The position isn't limited to former FBI officials, though. For instance, former acting Attorney General Dana Boente's name has been mentioned. Current top FBI and DOJ officials are also being interviewed. Sessions and Rosenstein met with acting FBI Director McCabe Tuesday. McCabe seems to be an unlikely pick, however, because of his own connections with the Clinton world. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of the Clintons, raised $500,000 for a PAC to help fund McCabe's wife's Virginia state senate campaign.

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