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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

FBI Director: Appointment and Tenure

Vivian S. Chu
Legislative Attorney

Henry B. Hogue
Specialist in American National Government

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The statutory basis for the present nomination and confirmation process was developed in 1968 and 1976, and has been used since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972. Over this time, six nominations have been confirmed and two have been withdrawn by the President before confirmation. The position of FBI Director has a fixed 10-year term, and the officeholder cannot be reappointed, unless Congress acts to allow a second appointment of the incumbent. There are no statutory conditions on the President’s authority to remove the FBI Director. One Director has been removed by the President since 1972.

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III was first confirmed by the Senate on August 2, 2001, with a term of office that expired in September 2011. In May 2011, President Barack Obama announced his intention to seek legislation that would extend Mueller’s term of office for two years. On May 26, 2011, Senator Patrick Leahy introduced S. 1103, a bill that would extend the term of the incumbent Director of the FBI. This bill was amended and passed by the Senate with unanimous consent on July 21, 2011. On July 25, the House considered the bill under suspension of the rules, and it was approved by voice vote. President Obama signed the bill into law (P.L. 112-24) the following day. Director Mueller’s term is due to end in September 2013.

It has been reported that President Obama intends to nominate James Comey, a former Deputy Attorney General, to succeed Director Muller.

This report first reviews the legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. The report then provides a legal overview of the extension of a Director’s tenure.

Date of Report: May 30, 2013
Number of Pages: 20
Order Number: R41850
Price: $29.95

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R41850.pdf   to use the SECURE SHOPPING CART


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