U.S. appeals court judge Merrick Garland, turned away by the Senate last year for a Supreme Court post, is not interested in serving as FBI director, two sources said on Tuesday, even as the top Senate Republican recommended him for the job.
Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, has told people around him he “loves his job and is not interested in leaving the judiciary,” said one of the sources familiar with the judge’s thinking. The two sources spoke on condition of anonymity.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he has mentioned Garland to Republican President Donald Trump as a possible successor James Comey, who Trump fired last week as FBI chief. In an interview on Bloomberg Television, McConnell referred to Garland, a former federal prosecutor, as “an apolitical professional” to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Under McConnell’s leadership, the Senate last year refused to consider centrist Garland for a lifetime job as a Supreme Court justice after Democratic President Barack Obama nominated him in March 2016.