Joe Lieberman takes his name out of the running for FBI director, citing conflict of interest

Former Sen. Joe Lieberman sent a letter to President Donald Trump yesterday withdrawing his name from consideration for FBI director, citing a potential conflict of interest.

In the letter, Lieberman cites the decision by the White House to enlist Marc Kasowitz — who works at the same law firm as Lieberman — as outside counsel to coordinate the administration’s response to the Russia investigation.

“With your selection of Marc Kasowitz to represent you in the various investigations that have begun, I do believe it would be best to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, given my role as a senior counsel in the law firm of which Marc is the senior partner,” Lieberman wrote in the letter.

“Just being thought of for this position was a great honor because of my enormous respect for the men and women of the FBI and the critical and courageous work they do in protecting the American people from criminals and terrorists, and upholding our finest values,” Lieberman wrote.

Last week Trump said he was “very close” to choosing the new FBI director.

The president, who is currently on his first overseas trip, revealed on May 18 that Lieberman was his top pick to replace James Comey. Lieberman, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 2013, was also former Vice President Al Gore‘s running mate in the 2000 election.

According to sources, some on the president’s team thought Lieberman would be a good choice and would actually appeal to Democrats.

Others pointed out that some Democrats actually dislike Lieberman and that the wiser move would be to appoint a career FBI person or somebody else with a law enforcement background – a choice with credibility in the Bureau and on Capitol Hill.

In keeping with those predictions, reactions to the reports that Lieberman was in the running were mixed. Senators Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., called on Trump to choose an FBI director who had experience in law enforcement.

“It is a…

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