President Donald Trump said former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is among the top contenders to lead the FBI after the firing of James Comey last week.
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, told reporters on Thursday that he would support the pick.
“I think Joe Lieberman is a pillar of credibility,” Graham said. “I think he’d be a good choice. But now that you have a special counsel, the new FBI director doesn’t have to worry about riding herd over an investigation of the man who appointed him.”
But Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, rejected the idea of any politician leading the department, which requires Senate confirmation.
“This is a moment where we need a law enforcement professional that’s never campaigned for a presidential candidate, never campaigned for office, never worn a party label to head the FBI,” McCaskill said.
Lieberman represented Connecticut in the Senate from 1989 to 2013, initially as a Democrat. He was elected to his final term as an independent after losing his party’s nomination in 2006.
Senator Richard Blumenthal, who succeeded Lieberman to his Connecticut seat, didn’t specifically comment on his predecessor, but generally agreed with McCaskill.
“The nominee for FBI director ought to be someone with a background, expertise, and experience in criminal justice -- preferably a prosecutor -- and ought to have no political connections or ties,” Blumenthal said.
Lieberman currently works at New York law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres, which has represented Trump.
Prior to his time in Washington, Lieberman served as Attorney General for Connecticut. He was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000, but split with his party when he supported Republican John McCain in his presidential bid in 2008.