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Senate GOP leader plays down latest Trump controversy

16 May 2017

The source told CNN that the judge "loves his job and has no interest in leaving the judiciary".

Judge Merrick Garland is not interested in leaving the judiciary amid speculation he could be a candidate to replace James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director, a source close to Garland told CNN Tuesday.

Merrick Garland has a new supporter in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

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Garland's name began to surface as a possible replacement last week when GOP Sen.

McConnell said that Garland would be his candidate of choice to replace FBI Director James Comey, in an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday. Lee also raised the idea directly with White House staff, according to an aide.

Some liberals and Democrats complained that the Republican interest in Garland was mostly aimed at opening a spot on the circuit court for a Trump nominee.

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Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, had been promoted for the job by some of the same Senate Republicans who blocked his nomination and refused to give him a Senate hearing. The delaying tactic allowed Trump to nominate conservative Neil Gorsuch to fill the seat after he took office in January.

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The Trump administration is promising to move quickly to replace Comey. Trump has said a decision could come before he leaves Friday for a trip to the Mideast and Europe. At 64, he could realistically expect to remain on the bench for at least another decade, while the directorate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is restricted to a single 10-year-term. His predecessor, Robert Mueller, was a US attorney in San Francisco.

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