Instead of a special prosecutor, @realDonaldTrump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey.
— Mike Lee (@SenMikeLee) May 11, 2017
As the fallout continues from President Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, Utah Sen. Mike Lee has weighed in with an unusual suggestion to replace him.
Sen. Lee went on Fox News Thursday morning to share his unorthodox idea of tapping Merrick Garland, President Obama’s failed nominee for the Supreme Court, as a possible replacement for fired FBI Director James Comey.
“This is someone with a long history of of prosecutorial experience. He was one of the lead prosecutors behind the Timothy McVeigh prosecution in Oklahoma City, and I think this would be an exciting pick,” he told Fox’s “American Newsroom.”
Lee’s comments and accompanying Tweet created buzz, with some Democratic senators even praising the suggestion.
But other commenters quickly predicted that Garland would probably not accept a position at the FBI. He currently serves as chief judge of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and if he vacated that post, Trump would also get to pick his replacement.
A message left for Garland’s office was not immediately returned.
Other members of Utah’s delegation have carefully issued statements on the former FBI Director, who was leading an investigation into alleged ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
A spokesman for Sen. Orrin Hatch said he backed the president’s decision but wished it had been “handled differently.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Jason Chaffetz sent a letter Wednesday to the Department of Justice's Inspector General, asking him to review the facts and circumstances surrounding the dismissal of Comey.
Rep. Chris Stewart, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told KUER the shake-up won’t affect Congress’s independent probe of Russian interference in the election.
“We’ll just continue our investigation,” said Stewart. “And it’s independent of the FBI, as you know, the Intelligence Committee has our own investigation. He’s one of our witnesses; he’s one of the participants, but we’ll continue our work. I don’t think it will impact that at all.”
Stewart says he knows and respects Comey but believes it was necessary to make a change at the agency.