Robert Mueller resigning as FBI director
After the longest term as FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, Robert Mueller will be retiring and will undoubtedly be missed.
After completing a 10-year term as director of the FBI, the longest since J. Edgar Hoover, Robert Mueller plans on retiring on Sept. 4. Mueller, who led efforts to reform the FBI into a functioning domestic intelligence agency while dealing with the aftereffects of September 11, which occurred a mere week after he became director, shall be missed by many. Mueller worked effectively with a wide variety of individuals, including four different attorneys general and both a Republican and Democratic president, but with a continued sense of independence.
“Bob is a hard person to replace,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “He has done a really excellent job in transforming the FBI He is a person who has the confidence of those in the FBI and people in the intelligence community. He’s a person I’ve worked with for a number of years — he’s a friend. He has the president’s confidence as well. So we want to make sure the person picked to be his successor will be able to fill those really large shoes that he leaves.”
Now, following the selection of new leaders for the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department, the time has come for the Obama administration to pick who will be filling those“really large shoes.”
A team headed by Holder and Vice President Joe Biden is leading the search. The criteria, which the team states they are using to decide upon a new FBI director, strike some as reminiscent of Mueller during his time as director. Officials say that the Obama administration seeks a candidate who has support both within the intelligence community and outside it, comprehends the bureau’s culture and will not stir controversy. One of the intended goals the Obama administration has for the new FBI director is for that individual to shift the FBI’s focus from solving crimes and making arrests to discovering and preventing threats.
Several high-ranking individuals serving in either the defense or legal communities are being considered as candidates for the open position. These include former Attorney General James Comey, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Chicago Patrick Fitzgerald, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and former Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein, all of whom hold their own strengths and weaknesses for the Obama administration and none of whom seem to maintain a solid lead as front runner.
One uncertainty the Obama administration must contend with is whether or not, if nominated, one of these candidates would actually want to be the director of the FBI. Most of the potential appointees already maintain high-paying and highly respected positions that they may not want to give up. In addition, the chosen candidate will have to wait for a senate vote, likely a drawn out process. Holder hopes that a new director can be in place by the time Mueller officially leaves his position within the FBI, but the chances of that happening appear to be slim.