Senate confirms James Comey as next FBI director

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July 30, 2013

By Jennifer Springer

Washington, D.C.: The U.S. Senate approved President Obama's nomination of James Comey to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation.[1][2][3] The Senate voted 93-1 on July 29 to confirm Comey, who will succeed Robert Mueller in the post.[4][1][3] The lone no vote came from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R).[1][5]

Comey's nomination received bipartisan support after Paul withdrew his hold on the nomination after the FBI responded on July 29 to Paul's questions on domestic use of surveillance drones.[1][3] That letter said the FBI has seldom used drones and cited Supreme Court rulings that the agency said suggested that court warrants are not needed for aerial surveillance.[3]

In a statement Rand Paul said, "The FBI today responded to my questions on domestic use of surveillance drones by saying that they don't necessarily need a warrant to deploy this technology...I disagree with this interpretation. However, given the fact that they did respond to my concerns over drone use on U.S. soil, I have decided to release my hold on the pending FBI director nominee."[4]

Paul had threatened for weeks to block Comey's nomination until the FBI revealed more details about its use of drones in the U.S.[3] He had written three letters to the FBI since June, seeking details on the agency's use of drones and the policies it follows in deploying them.[3][6]

Comey is the only FBI Director since J. Edgar Hoover's death to receive a vote against confirmation.[7] The FBI director serves a fixed, 10-year term, but President Obama sought and received Senate approval to extend Mueller's term for an additional two years in 2011.[1]

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