South Carolina U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy has taken his name out of consideration to be the new FBI director.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Gowdy said he had spoken with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Saturday and Monday, but decided not to pursue the job. “I shared with him two things: (1) the qualities I believe are indispensable for our next FBI Director to possess, and (2) my firm conviction that I would not be the right person,” Gowdy said.
Gowdy had been among the names floated as an option after President Trump fired previous FBI Director James Comey last week. The White House initially said it terminated Comey on the recommendation of Justice Department officials, but Trump later admitted he had been planning to fire him anyway.
In his statement, Gowdy did not go into details about the qualities he believes the job needs. However, he said the next director should have “impeccable credentials” and can unite the country “as we strive for justice and truth.” The congressman did not further explain why he felt he was not right for the job.
“Having worked in the justice system for 20 years at both the state and federal levels and on both the trial and appellate levels, I know how indispensable it is that we respect our justice system and that it be worthy of our respect,” he said.
Gowdy is a former prosecutor and 7th Circuit Solicitor who has represented the Greenville-Spartanburg region in Congress since 2011. He gained national attention when he led a House committee investigating the 2012 Benghazi attacks.