Trey Gowdy has removed himself from consideration to be the next Director of the FBI.
The fiery South Carolinian representative announced Monday he told Attorney General Jeff Sessions he wasn’t interested in the job, saying it’s “my firm conviction that I would not be the right person,” according to usatoday.com.
“Our country and the women and men of the FBI deserve a Director with not only impeccable credentials but also one who can unite the country as we strive for justice and truth. I am confident that person will emerge,” Gowdy said in a statement.
Gowdy was one of many potential candidates the White House and Justice Department were considering to replace FBI Director James Comey, whose high-profile firing happened last week amid questions about the FBI’s investigation of possible collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
A senior administration official with knowledge of the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly as a matter of practice confirmed to McClatchy that Gowdy was one of 11 candidates on a White House list who could lead the FBI.
Gowdy made his name grilling Hillary Clinton over the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Gowdy worked as a federal prosecutor from 1994 to 2000 in South Carolina and served as a district attorney before entering Congress in 2011.
Gowdy, 52, is despised by Democrats and loved by Republicans after leading the House Select Committee on Benghazi from 2014 to 2016. The investigation led to the discovery of Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.
At least one Democrat wanted Gowdy to lead the FBI.
“Dems are going to hate me for this. The best replacement for Comey is Trey Gowdy,” said Bakari Sellers, who ran for South Carolina lieutenant governor in 2014. “He’s as honest as the day is long.”
Trump said the White House is “moving rapidly” to select a replacement for Comey. He spoke during a meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House.
The administration has interviewed at least eight candidates to replace Comey, with just over half of the 14 being considered.
Trump has said a decision could come before he leaves Friday for the Mideast and Europe, his first overseas trip as president.