President Trump’s last minute decision to put off the selection of a new FBI director until after his overseas trip is a good sign, perhaps even an indication that he’s learned something and avoided making a mistake.
In the last two days, the strange choice of former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman had been floated as a trial balloon. It seemed like a very bad idea, and perhaps Trump has ultimately decided to deflate it. The choice of the 75-year-old Lieberman — who, remember, addressed the 2008 Republican convention, and also recently wrote a letter of recommendation for Jeff Sessions as attorney general — was never going to placate Democrats, if that’s what was intended.
Lieberman’s experience as Connecticut’s elected attorney general during the 1980s seems like a period of ancient history. While in the Senate, his main focus was in other areas. He didn’t at all focus on criminal justice as an issue, sponsoring just 14 bills related to the topic (none became law), and many of those had to do with more or less political topics like gun control and gas-price gouging. In short, it would be a real stretch to say that he much of a background in the issues that an FBI director deals with on a regular basis.
It’s entirely possible that Trump will return from his overseas trip and pick Lieberman or some other politician anyway. But he should really just go with someone nobody has ever heard of, who has never been elected to anything. The best pick would be an experienced FBI veteran. Find one, accept that the director of the FBI won’t and shouldn’t necessarily be your friend or even slightly loyal to you (and might even try to hide from you), and put this mess behind you to the extent possible.