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By Kevin Daley
Judge Merrick Garland, former President Barack Obama’s ill-fated Supreme Court nominee, is not interested in become director of the FBI, according to sources close to the judge.
Two unnamed sources described as “friends of Merrick Garland” told NPR’s Carrie Johnson that he “loves being a judge and he intends to remain on the bench.”
BREAKING: Two friends of Merrick Garland tell me he "loves being a judge and he intends to remain on the bench" despite calls to run FBI.
— Carrie Johnson (@johnson_carrie) May 16, 2017
Something of a Garland-boomlet gained traction in GOP circles following former FBI Director James Comey’s abrupt dismissal last week. GOP Sen. Mike Lee of Utah expressed support for Garland’s appointment on Twitter Wednesday morning, drawing a favorable response from Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar. Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told the Washington Examiner that he put forward Garland’s name in conversations with White House officials.
Some reports indicated that senior administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Don McGahn were receptive to the idea. A spokesman for the vice president later denied that the notion was being seriously considered inside the White House.
Garland is currently chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where he has served for over 20 years. At 64, he could realistically expect to remain on the bench for at least another decade, while the directorate of the FBI is restricted to a single 10-year-term.
Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Garland served as a prosecutor at the Department of Justice, ascending to the highest echelons of the department while supervising high-profile, politically sensitive cases.