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FBI Director Nominations, 1973-2017

Via EveryCRSReport – FBI Director Nominations, 1973-2017, May 29, 2018: “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. From 1973 through 2017, eight nominations for FBI Director were confirmed, and two other nominations were withdrawn by the President before confirmation.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. From 1973 through 2017, two Directors were removed by the President. President William J. Clinton removed William S. Sessions from office on July 19, 1993, and President Donald J. Trump removed James B. Comey from office on May 9, 2017. Robert S. Mueller III was the first FBI Director to be appointed to a second term, and this was done under special statutory arrangements. He 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. Legislation that would allow Mueller to be nominated to an additional, two-year term was considered and passed in the Senate and the House, and President Obama signed the bill into law (P.L. 112-24) on July 26, 2011. Mueller subsequently was nominated and confirmed to the two-year term, and he served until September 4, 2013. This report provides an overview of the development of the process for appointing the FBI Director, briefly discusses the history of nominations to this position from 1973-2017, and identifies related congressional hearing records and reports.”

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