Now that James Comey has been axed as FBI director, one of the big questions is who’s going to replace him.
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a major President Trump supporter, said he wasn’t being considered to replace Comey.
“The president’s not gonna ask me, and I’m not gonna be FBI director,” Giuliani, a former U.S. Attorney, told New York Magazine.
So if not Rudy, then who?
Names began circulating as potential replacements even before the shock of Comey’s firing wore off. Several of the possibilities hail from the New York region and already work for the agency or hold elected office.
Here’s a look at who could next head the FBI.
Kelly served as NYPD commissioner from September 1992 to December 1993 and then from January 2002 to December 2013. The New York City native was widely credited with expanding the police department’s counter-terrorism unit in the years immediately after 9/11.
But those efforts brought Kelly under fire after it was revealed he’d monitored Muslim mosques in New Jersey believed to have connections to terrorists. Kelly defended those actions, as well as the department’s stop-and-frisk policy that critics believed targeted minorities.
This wouldn’t be the first time the 75-year-old would be considered for the FBI job. Kelly was reportedly considered by President Clinton to take the job in 1993. And in 2011, his name was tossed around to replace outgoing FBI chief Robert Mueller — an idea Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) endorsed. Mueller’s term was extended by two years and he was replaced by Comey.
Christie was one of the first former presidential candidates to back Trump’s run last year, but he still hasn’t landed a job at the White House.
The New Jersey governor, whose term ends at the end of 2017, has been a law-and-order Republican who often discusses his time as a U.S. Attorney in the 2000s.
There are varying reports, however, on how Christie would work with Jared Kushner, the President’s son-in-law and his senior adviser. Christie oversaw the conviction of Kushner’s father, Charles, on several charges. Both men have said their past hasn’t influenced their ability to work for Trump, however.
McCabe is now the acting FBI director since Comey’s firing, having taken over as deputy director last year.
He joined the FBI in 1996 as a special agent focused on organized crime, and later moved to counter-terrorism operations.
But McCabe is connected to Comey, and was involved in probing Russia’s possible collusion with members of the Trump campaign as well as the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The Clinton investigation put him in an awkward position near the end of last year. His wife, Jill McCabe, ran unsuccessfully for a state senate seat in 2016 and her campaign received money from a political group tied to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe — a longtime ally of the Clintons.
The controversial Milwaukee County sheriff’s name began getting thrown around Wednesday morning as a possible replacement.
Clarke, who took office in 2015, was a speaker at the 2016 Republican National Convention.
The outspoken lawman has come under fire for some of his stances in recent years.
His office and the county’s jail has been sued for alleged abuse against inmates — particularly the April 2016 death of Terrill Thomas.
Rep. Gowdy (R-S.C.) made a name for himself by chairing the House investigation into the killing of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012.
Before he ran for Congress, Gowdy was a federal prosecutor who oversaw the conviction of Mark J. Allen, a post office robber who made “America’s Most Wanted.”
Gowdy criticized Comey during a House hearing in July 2016 on how he handled the investigation into Clinton’s emails.