Gowdy takes himself out of running for FBI director position

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U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg speaks during a full committee hearing in North Charleston in 2011. Photo by Congressman Darrell Issa, Flickr.

U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has removed himself from a shortlist of contenders to become the next FBI director.

On Monday, the Republican congressman said he told Attorney General Jeff Sessions he would “not be the right person” to replace former director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald J. Trump last week.

Both Republicans and Democrats have urged Trump to select an FBI director who doesn’t have a political background to ensure a nonpartisan agency.

“Our country and the women and men of the FBI deserve a director with not only impeccable credentials but also one who can unite the country as we strive for justice and truth. I am confident that person will emerge,” Gowdy said in a statement.

The statement comes after the administration interviewed several candidates, including acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Texas Sen. John Cornyn, for the bureau position over the weekend.

While Gowdy wasn’t interviewed, many speculated he would be a good replacement.

Gowdy currently serves on the House committees on intelligence, ethics, oversite, and judiciary. Gowdy, who was elected to Congress in 2010, also chaired the House Select Committee that investigated the 2012 Benghazi attack in Libya.

“I want to thank the scores of law enforcement offices and prosecutors who have contacted me over the past couple of days. Perhaps we can work together again in the future,” said Gowdy.

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