Why Joe Lieberman Would Be The Wrong Choice To Head The FBI

Appointing a career politician to the post would seriously undermine the credibility of the Bureau.
05/19/2017 04:39 pm ET Updated May 22, 2017
Yuri Gripas / Reuters

Certain positions within our government demand a certain level of expertise.

Joe Lieberman is not the right person to head the FBI. I say this not because I am upset over his perceived party treason, I myself have supported candidates on both sides of the aisle. I have a certain amount of respect for Lieberman, his willingness to cross party lines and his tenure in the Senate are commendable.

The role of the head of the FBI has never been a political one. Yes, the head is selected by the president, however, the goal of the FBI director has never been to be beholden to the president. True, Lieberman is an attorney and served as the Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, but he is, without question, a career politician. If one looks at the appointments of the most recent FBI heads: Freeh, Mueller, and Comey all have decades of legal experience. Whether or not one agrees with their politics, they were at least on paper, qualified for the job.

Leiberman has never served as a law enforcement agent or federal prosecutor. To have someone without this experience calls into question the impartiality of the FBI and those who work there. The mission of the FBI is to protect the people of the United States and to uphold the U.S. Constitution and one of its core values is fairness. Appointing a career politician to this role, who does not have any expertise in this area, brings into question the outcome of all investigations and begs the question; is justice really blind?

When I was at the FBI, I never once considered how the head at that time, Robert Mueller, would perceive my investigation. His politics never played a role. He had spent a great portion of his life working in the federal court system and to me, he was in that position because he was qualified for it.

Should Trump select Leiberman as the head, he is signaling that the FBI is essentially now a political organization that will make decisions based on the political party of the president. Trump has appointed Lieberman not because he is putting America’s best interests first and Lieberman is the best candidate to be America’s top law enforcement official, but because he is trying to make a political statement by appointing seemingly outsiders or those that have been maligned by the establishment to key political positions. This “draining of the swamp” comes at a price, which is American security.

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