Editorials

Lieberman would be an odd pick to head the FBI

US Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman leaves the West Wing of the White House after meeting with US President Donald Trump on May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lieberman is under consideration for the position of FBI Director.
US Senator from Connecticut Joe Lieberman leaves the West Wing of the White House after meeting with US President Donald Trump on May 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Lieberman is under consideration for the position of FBI Director. AFP/Getty Images

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman has managed in the course of a long political career to offend Democrats, Republicans and those across the political spectrum. Following the firing of now-former FBI Director James Comey, it would seem President Trump would want a respected, unifying figure in the job.

Lieberman may be respected to some degree. He ran for vice president in 2000 on the Democratic ticket, but in 2008 supported Republican John McCain. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in 2016. He’s worked for a New York law firm that has long represented Donald Trump. And he is 75 years old, something that may legitimately be an issue in the case of the FBI position, given that it is a rigorous job.

Trump could easily have named Andrew McCabe, the acting director, an agency veteran and someone with the confidence of the FBI staff. But McCabe dared, in congressional testimony, to contradict a typically off-the-cuff contention from Trump that agents had lost confidence in Comey. That likely eliminated him from consideration, as Trump does not tolerate those who disagree with him.

That is unfortunate, because in Lieberman Trump will have someone in charge who would seem to have little knowledge of the bureau’s day-to-day operations, someone with business ties to Trump, and someone who does not seem particularly qualified to participate in an investigation of the Trump-Russia connection. Or is that what Donald Trump had in mind?

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