News & Politics

Trump, GOP will control FBI chief pick despite Democrats’ objections


FBI directors have predominantly been drawn from the ranks of prosecutors and judges. (Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency
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While Democrats may trot out any number of demands or maneuvers to influence the selection of the next director of the FBI, here’s a reality check: President Trump fired James Comey, and he and his party will decide who’s next.

And they’re not wasting time. Trump said Monday the selection process for a nominee for FBI director was ‘‘moving rapidly.’’

Democrats are irate over Comey’s abrupt ouster, and demanding Trump not nominate a partisan leader. Although they can mount considerable pressure before and during the confirmation process, they don’t control enough votes to influence the outcome.

The nominee will require only a simple majority vote in the 100-member Senate, and Republicans hold a 52-seat majority.

‘‘If they can keep all 52 together, then it won’t matter,’’ said Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

If Republicans ‘‘start to lose a couple, or two or three look like they’re not on board, that could create more pressure on the majority leader and the president to perhaps do something other than what they were planning on doing,’’ Gerhardt said.

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