Former senator Joe Lieberman on Thursday withdrew his name from the FBI director candidate pool.
While Lieberman thanked President Trump in the letter for considering him for the nomination and said he was "grateful," he noted that there may be a "conflict of interest" because Trump's personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, is a senior partner at Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP. Lieberman is a senior counsel there.
"With your selection of Marc Kasowitz to represent you in the various investigations that have begun, I do believe it would be best to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest," Lieberman wrote in a letter.
Lieberman was one of a number of candidates who met with the president last week about the job, following Trump's abrupt firing of the previous director, James Comey, earlier this month.
Last week, Trump hinted that he had someone in mind for the position during a brief conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos – and gave answered "yes" very strongly when asked if Lieberman was among his final picks.
"We need a great director of the FBI. I cherish the FBI. It's special. All over the world no matter where you go, the FBI is special. The FBI has not had that special reputation with what happened in the campaign, what happened with respect to the Clinton campaign and even, you could say, directly or indirectly, with respect to the much more successful Trump campaign."
"I think the people in the FBI will be very, very, very, very thrilled," he continued.
Lieberman was elected to the Senate in 1988, retiring after serving four terms. He nearly became the nation's first Jewish vice president in 2000, when he ran alongside Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore.
His last term in the Senate was spent as an independent, when he switched parties after losing his state's Democratic primary because of his support for the Iraq war.
Contributing: David Jackson