After weeks of speculation about who would succeed FBI director Robert Mueller at the end of his 10-year term in September, President Obama said today he wants to extend Mueller’s term by two years. Obama said, “In his ten years at the FBI, Bob Mueller has set the gold standard for leading the bureau. Given the ongoing threats facing the United States, as well as the leadership transitions at other agencies like the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency, I believe continuity and stability at the FBI is critical at this time.”
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT), whose committee oversees the FBI, quickly agreed with Obama on a Mueller term extension. Given that Mueller was initially appointed by President George W. Bush and enjoys strong Republican support, it would seem likely that he will get his two-year extension. Mueller took over the bureau just before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and is widely credited with changing the FBI’s emphasis from fighting traditional crime to preventing terrorism.