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For FBI Director: US Circuit Judge Julie Carnes

What does the FBI need right now?

A person of unquestioned integrity and ability but without a whiff of politics. Someone with extensive experience. Someone who has spent her life in service to her country.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet my choice for the next FBI Director, Judge Julie Carnes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.  Judge Carnes was nominated for her seat by President Obama, and confirmed by the Senate 94-0.  I know her from our days together on the Attorney General's Advisory Committee on the Sentencing Guidelines.  Coincidentally, she was, like me, a long-serving Assistant US Attorney and head of her Office's appellate division.  She was brilliant, fair-minded, and a joy to work with.  Our country could do no better.

Her bio is here.

P.S.  Julie is a Democrat.  She would be the first woman FBI Director.  That, I suppose, is relevant to some people, but is thoroughly irrelevant to me.


How about a cop's cop who can't be pushed around by anyone and will do the right thing for the right reason: Bill Bratton?

I don't know that much about Bratton. From what little I do know, he'd be good. Julie Carnes would be superb. Judge Carnes is at the right place at the right moment.

I've always wondered whether appointing lawyers instead of cops as FBI Director was a good idea, though that has been the pattern for a long time now. Bratton would be good, I expect. Don't know much about Carnes, but I am willing to accept Bill's assessment.

Well, if as the Comey soap opera seems to indicate it is best to have a clear line of demarcation between the FBI and the USAO (i.e., FBI gathers the facts, hands all the facts over to the USAO lawyers, and the lawyers determine if the facts violate the law), it is probably best to have a non-lawyer in charge of the FBI, even though holding a law degree is one way of qualifying to be an FBI agent.

I suspect, if Comey was not a lawyer he would not have felt as comfortable publicly stating his legal conclusion regarding Clinton's culpability.

Although we all know that fact-finding law enforcement officers, in effect, act as prosecuting attorneys when they exercise their discretion and don't arrest a suspect who has violated the technical letter of the law. Only a certain percentage, albeit very high, of cases are forwarded by law enforcement officers to prosecutors for their legal opinion.

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