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Lieberman Shouldn’t Be FBI Director

Senate Democrats don’t like [1] Lieberman for FBI Director:

President Donald Trump may be dramatically miscalculating how much support Sen. Joe Lieberman has among his former Democratic colleagues to become FBI director.

Some Senate Democrats hold a grudge against Lieberman for his rightward turn and opposition to some of President Barack Obama’s agenda late in his Senate career. Others say even though they respect Lieberman, the FBI director should not be a former politician. And all Democratic senators interviewed for this story said the former Connecticut senator lacks the kind of experience needed for the post.

Maybe Trump and his advisers thought that Lieberman would be more agreeable to members of the other party because he used to be a Democrat, but they evidently didn’t remember that Lieberman’s break with his party was a particularly bitter and contentious one. Lieberman abandoned his party after he lost his 2006 primary to Ned Lamont, and he lost that election mainly because of his zealous support for the Iraq war and his perceived closeness to Bush in connection with that. Lieberman still won the general election as an independent, but from then on he was one of the least-liked politicians among Democratic voters. He even backed McCain in the 2008 election, and basically did as much as he could to burn bridges with his former party during Obama’s first term.


Even if there weren’t all this bad blood between him and Democrats, he is a bad choice for the job for the reasons I laid out earlier [2]. Quin Hillyer sums up [3] many of these reasons in a post this evening:

First, at exactly a moment when the political atmosphere is toxic and when the prior director was widely criticized for appearing to tip the political scales in the midst of a national election, this is precisely not the time to hire for the very first time an FBI director whose background is largely elective/political. For all of Lieberman’s vaunted bipartisanship, he still built a career as a politician and has a habit of thinking like one. This is not good.

Second, the nature of the job itself is not that of a mere CEO type in the way that some of the lesser cabinet posts are. This is a job for a person not just broadly familiar with, but extremely well versed in, the tools of law-enforcement investigations, the technical interplay of various federal agencies, and the granular details of patient inquiry. Lieberman, despite his long government résumé, has not a single day of federal law-enforcement experience. If he were named director, he would be the first person ever to hold that post without prior Justice Department experience.

Benjamin Wittes of Lawfare listed reasons why Lieberman was a bad choice in a series of tweets earlier today. Here are a couple:

If Trump goes ahead with a Lieberman nomination, he will be choosing someone widely regarded as unqualified for the job, and Lieberman will encounter significant resistance during the confirmation process.

8 Comments (Open | Close)

8 Comments To "Lieberman Shouldn’t Be FBI Director"

#1 Comment By Phil Giraldi On May 18, 2017 @ 7:37 pm

Lieberman will, of course, have the enthusiastic support of the Israel Lobby, which no one wants to seem to mention. Lickspittles like Chuck Schumer will line up though with pretending to be doing so reluctantly. We shall see how this turns out.

#2 Comment By jk On May 18, 2017 @ 7:44 pm

So the three amigos (Graham, McCain, Lieberman) will reunite once again! Obviously another neocon plant only this time, Lieberman is actually a dual citizen – can you anyone dare guess what country?

Hint: It’s also known as the most powerful state in the Union and the only US state that has Universal Healthcare yet receives billions of federal tax dollars.


#3 Comment By MEOW On May 18, 2017 @ 9:35 pm

This sounds like it is right out of Prince Jared’s play book. Are there no other groups in America that have earned the representative right to high positions in government? The lobby tsunami is overwhelming. A Martian visitor was being shown around Brooklyn and asked the guide – where are the Protestants? Shush said the guide. These people think they are the only ones on the planet.

#4 Comment By that dog don’t hunt On May 18, 2017 @ 10:34 pm

The FBI is our chief counterespionage agency.

Israel, with Russia and China, is one of the three biggest espionage threats we face.

That’s according to … the FBI.

So sending a recipient of John Hagee’s “Defender of Israel Award” to run the FBI is absurd.

From Wikipedia: “Mark Vogel, chairman of the pro-Israel National Action Committee Political Action Committee (NACPAC), has stated that “Joe Lieberman, without exception, no conditions … is the No. 1 pro-Israel advocate and leader in Congress. There is nobody who does more on behalf of Israel than Joe Lieberman.”

Case closed.


#5 Comment By R.S. Rogers On May 19, 2017 @ 8:34 am

I don’t think the point of a Lieberman appointment would be to be agreeable to actual Democrats. Rather, it would be to appear to be agreeable to Democrats to the Republican voting base and infotainment complex. “Democrats are so hysterical about Donald Trump that they even oppose him when he appoints Democrats to top jobs.” Look at the liberal hypocrisy, blah blah blah.

So far, I’ve seen a lot of focus on Lieberman’s thin qualifications, his personal financial connections to Trump, and on the question of appointing a politician to a job previously held by law-enforcement professionals. But no real focus on the fact that Lieberman is 75, and the FBI director has a ten-year appointment. Do we really believe that the nation’s criminal and terrorist threats in the late 2020s will be so easily managed that we want a man with the mental and physical vigor of an 85-year-old in charge of the FBI?

#6 Comment By phg On May 19, 2017 @ 10:32 am

Only a President as old and inexperienced as Trump would consider Lieberman. Those factors combined with his affiliation with Trump’s personal litigator highlight exactly why Trump is uniquely unsuited for the job of POTUS.

#7 Comment By Stop the agony On May 19, 2017 @ 1:01 pm

If Trump thought Comey was a sanctimonious showboat, he ain’t seen nothing yet.

#8 Comment By Mark Thomason On May 23, 2017 @ 4:07 pm

Lieberman has already betrayed everyone who counted on him.

It is often said that if you have an affair with someone cheating on a spouse, you must understand you’ve gotten involved with someone who cheats, and they’ll cheat on you too.

Well, Lieberman is that cheating spouse. Anyone who trusts him is a fool.