ATLANTA -- President Trump's sudden decision to fire the now former FBI director shocked and shook the country Tuesday night. Now, attentions turn to picking James Comey's replacement, and it appears a former Atlanta U.S. attorney is in the running.
Larry Thompson is reportedly on a list of possible candidates for Comey's old job as the nation's top investigator, according to the Wall Street Journal. If chosen, Thompson would be the first African-American director of the FBI. 11Alive reached out to Thompson's representative, but they declined to comment.
Thompson, according to his bio, has served as a deputy attorney general under the George W. Bush administration, worked as a U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, held leadership positions at PepsiCo and taught at the University of Georgia. He is currently with the Finch McCranie law firm in Atlanta
Thompson is reported to be close to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and supported the former Alabama senator's nomination. His name is being considered among others, including:
-Ken Wainstein, a former head of the Justice Department's National Security Division
-Mark Filip, who also served as a deputy attorney general under President George W. Bush
-Frances Townsend, a former national security advisor-turned-television personality. She would be the first woman to lead the FBI
President Trump fired Comey, who was selected to head the FBI under former President Obama, in a surprise move Tuesday evening.
Comey was supposed to have at least six more years in his term, but was "terminated and removed from office, effective immediately" without notice over recommendations from the Department of Justice.
The firing came just days after he testified before Congress about the FBI's investigation into Russia's election meddling and possible connections between Russia and Trump's campaign. The former FBI director was also under fire for the way he handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, which Comey was said to have grossly overstated in a letter from the FBI.
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe will step in to lead the agency as the White House continues its search.