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Sen. John Cornyn On Short List To Lead FBI After Comey's Firing

Laura Skelding
Texas Tribune
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn speaks at a conference hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation on Jan. 13, 2017, at the Sheraton Hotel in Austin, Texas.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is on the short list to succeed James Comey as FBI director, according to a White House official. 

Cornyn is one of about 11 contenders for the post, according to Fox News.

He also has strong relationships with members of his conference and would likely sail through confirmation. Prior to his election to the Senate in 2002, Cornyn served as Texas attorney general, a Texas Supreme Court justice and a local judge.  

In the immediate aftermath of Comey's firing, Cornyn did not take the opportunity to lobby for the position.  

"I'm happy serving my state and my country," he told reporters off the Senate floor. 

But that comment came Wednesday, which was a lifetime ago in a dramatic week in Washington. 

Such an appointment would put Cornyn in one of the most contentious positions in the U.S. government. President Donald Trump, who would be making that appointment, spent Friday morning declaring political war on Comey via Twitter. 

Cornyn would also take over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 

Should Cornyn be offered and accept the post, it would be an enormous blow to the state's clout on Capitol Hill. He is the second-ranking Republican in the Senate. But, as Politico noted last week, his current leadership position comes with term limits, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shows no signs of leaving his post in the near future. 

Read related coverage:

  • The Tribune asked all 38 members of the Texas congressional delegation whether Congress is appropriately overseeing investigations into relationships between Russia and members of the Trump team.
  • Cornyn and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz both backed Trump's decision to fire Comey. 

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/12/cornyn-shortlist-lead-fbi/.

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