Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee said on Thursday that President Trump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey as director of the FBI.
"Instead of a special prosecutor, @realDonaldTrump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey," Lee wrote on Twitter.
Garland, who sits on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, was nominated by former President Barack Obama for the Supreme Court seat held by the late Justice Antonin Scalia last year. Senate Republicans stalled his nomination, and President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for the seat.
Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar expressed her support for the idea. "Good idea @SenMikeLee. Former prosecutor Merrick Garland for FBI Director is great idea. Need special prosecutor too."
Conn Carroll, an aide to Lee, wrote on Twitter: "Merrick Garland has extensive prosecutorial experience including overseeing the OKC bombing investigation."
Merrick Garland has extensive prosecutorial experience including overseeing the OKC bombing investigation.— Conn Carroll (@conncarroll) May 11, 2017
In a piece at the Daily Caller on Wednesday titled "The case for Merrick Garland as FBI Director," writer Kevin Daley wrote: "Obvious political advantages would attend Garland's appointment at this precarious moment of Trump's presidency. Senate Democrats joined the previous administration in offering uniformly glowing assessments of Garland's quality and experience. None could now plausibly marshall a convincing case against him, after mounting a year-long campaign to secure him a spot on the nation's highest tribunal."
Would Garland accept the appointment, it would open up a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, of which liberals have a 7-4 advantage.
He would also give up a lifetime appointment on the court for a position where he could be fired at will by the president.