May 12th, 2011
12:59 PM ET
Washington (CNN) - After recently announcing a major shake-up of his national security team, President Obama is asking Congress to approve a two-year extension on the ten year term of FBI Director Robert Mueller. His term is set to expire September 4.
In a statement released by the White House Thursday afternoon, Obama cited the ongoing threats agaisnt the United States, coupled with the upcoming change in leadership at the Pentagon and the C.I.A. as the reasons for his request.
FBI Director Robert Mueller has agreed to serve another two years if Congress approves an unprecedented extension of the current 10-year term limit, FBI officials said Thursday. One senior official who spoke to CNN said Mueller had fully expected to retire when his term ends September 4, but President Obama had persuaded Mueller to remain for two more years.
Both Attorney General Eric Holder and Senator Patrick Leahey, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee have offered their early support for the request.
Read the full statement from President Obama as released by the White House:
President 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. Bob transformed the FBI after September 11, 2001 into a pre-eminent counterterrorism agency, he has shown extraordinary leadership and effectiveness at protecting our country every day since. He has impeccable law enforcement and national security credentials, a relentless commitment to the rule of law, unquestionable integrity and independence, and a steady hand that has guided the Bureau as it confronts our most serious threats. I am grateful for his leadership, and ask Democrats and Republicans in Congress to join together in extending that leadership for the sake of our nation’s safety and security.”
Robert Mueller was originally nominated by President George W. Bush as FBI Director on July 5, 2001 and was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate on August 2, 2001. Mueller also served as Acting Deputy Attorney General, and was sworn in as FBI director on September 4, 2001. Since that time, Mueller has led a transformation of the Bureau from a pre- 9-11 law enforcement agency, to an agency whose primary mission is national security. President Obama is the fourth President to ask Mueller to serve in a Senate-confirmed position.
Mueller is the sixth person to have served as FBI director. At the time of his 2001 appointment, Mueller was serving as the United States Attorney in San Francisco, the culmination of 12 years in United States Attorney’s Offices where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, terrorist, and public corruption cases, as well as narcotics conspiracies and international money launderers. Mueller served as an officer for three years in the United States Marine Corps, leading a rifle platoon of the Third Marine Division in Vietnam. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals, the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Mueller graduated from Princeton University, earned a master’s degree in International Relations at New York University, and a law degree from the University Of Virginia Law School.