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Bush Nominates Robert S. Mueller as FBI Director

Bush Nominates Robert S. Mueller as FBI Director

President Bush announced July 5 that he was nominating Justice Department veteran Robert S. Mueller to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to succeed retired FBI Director Louis B. Freeh. Remarks by the President in nominating Robert S. Mueller as director of the FBI. Source: Washington File, EUR404, U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., July 7, 2001.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Mueller would become the sixth director of the nation's leading law enforcement agency.

"He assumes great responsibilities, he was chosen with great care, and he has my confidence," Bush said at a ceremony in the Rose Garden announcing the selection. Standing next to the President were Mueller and Attorney General John Ashcroft.

Bush saluted Mueller as a man of "fidelity, bravery and integrity."

"The FBI must remain independent of politics and uncompromising in its mission," Bush said. "Bob Mueller's experience and character convinced me that he's ready to shoulder these responsibilities."

Mueller pledged to enforce the nation's laws "fairly and with respect to the rights of all Americans."

Mueller was Acting Deputy U.S. Attorney General from January until June when he returned to California to resume his job as U.S. attorney in San Francisco.

Under the first President Bush, Mueller was Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division. In that post, Mueller supervised the prosecutions of Panamanian President Manuel Noriega and U.S. Organized Crime chieftain John Gotti as well as heading up the investigations of the BCCI banking scandal and the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Mueller also was assistant to Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and was a federal prosecutor in Boston and California, where he investigated and prosecuted major financial fraud, narcotics, terrorist and public corruption cases.

During the Vietnam War, Mueller served in the U.S. Marine Corps for a year overseas and was awarded several battle citations.

Following is the White House transcript of remarks by Bush and Mueller: (begin transcript)

THE WHITE HOUSE, Office of the Press Secretary, July 5, 2001

Remarks by the President in nominating Robert S. Mueller as director of the FBI.

The South Lawn, 11:30 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. General, thank you for being here. It is my honor to nominate Robert S. Mueller, of California, to become the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I want to welcome his wife, Anne, here, and I want to welcome you all to the Rose Garden.

When confirmed, Mr. Mueller will be only the sixth person to hold this position. He assumes great responsibilities. He was chosen with great care and he has my full confidence. Bob Mueller earned my trust and that of the Attorney General when he served as Acting Deputy Attorney General earlier this year. He also has earned the confidence of other Presidents before me.

He is the current U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California; he was appointed to that position by President Clinton. He served in my father's administration, as well. Before that, he was U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, making him one of the very few ever to serve as Chief Federal Prosecutor in two jurisdictions.

Out next FBI Director has given nearly all his career to public service, going back to his days in the Marine Corps. He served with distinction and was decorated during the Vietnam War. As a lawyer, prosecutor and government official, he has shown high ideals, a clear sense of purpose and a tested devotion to his country.

As Director, Mr. Mueller will succeed a good and honest man, Director Louis Freeh, who has my respect and the gratitude of our nation. I also want to thank Acting Director Pickard, who has served well during this transition.

The FBI has a great tradition that Mr. Mueller must now affirm, and some important challenges he must confront. Like the Department of Justice, the FBI must remain independent of politics and uncompromising in its mission.

Bob Mueller's term in office will last longer than my own. And the next 10 years will bring more forms of crime, new threats of terror, from beyond our borders and within them. The tools of law enforcement will change, as well. The FBI must be ready to protect Americans from new types of criminals who will use modern technology to defraud and disrupt our society.

The Bureau must secure its rightful place as the premier counter-espionage and counter-terrorist organization in the United States. It must continue to serve as a resource and training center for law enforcement. And it must do all this with a firm commitment to safeguarding the constitutional rights of our citizens.

Bob Mueller's experience and character convinced me that he's ready to shoulder these responsibilities. Agents of the Bureau prize three virtues above all: fidelity, bravery and integrity. This new Director is a man who exemplifies them all. Congratulations.

MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Thank you, sir.

I am deeply honored by the trust that President Bush has shown in nominating me to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The FBI is the foremost law enforcement agency in the world. I look forward to the confirmation process. And, if confirmed, I look forward to working with the thousands of dedicated men and women who are agents and employees of the FBI, to enforce our nation's laws fairly and with respect to the rights of all Americans.

Again, thank you, Mr. President, for the confidence you've shown in me. Thank you, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Congratulations.

MR. MUELLER: Thank you very much, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all for coming. (Applause.)

(end White House transcript)

Following is Mueller's biography as released by the White House: (begin text)

Robert S. Mueller, III

On July 5, 2001 the President nominated Robert S. Mueller to be the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Recently, he served as the Acting Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice from January through May 2001. On October 7, 1999, Robert Mueller was confirmed by the Senate as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of California in San Francisco. Prior to joining the Northern District of California in 1998, Mr. Mueller was Chief of the Homicide Section of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colombia where he had served since 1995 as Senior Litigation Counsel in the Homicide Section until assuming the position as Chief in 1997.

In 1990, Mr. Mueller was named Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice by former President Bush and was responsible for developing and supervising the enforcement of federal criminal law. He supervised the Noriega and Gotti prosecutions, the Pan Am 103 investigation and helped develop the Justice Department's policies on corporate sentencing guidelines, computer crime investigations, and health care and money laundering prosecutions.

Prior to assuming the position of Assistant Attorney General, Mr. Mueller was an assistant to Attorney General Richard Thornburgh in the Department of Justice, and from 1986 to 1987 he served as United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts.

Mr. Mueller has held various positions as a prosecutor and supervisor and has also had experience in the private practice of law.

Mr. Mueller served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps for three years, including one year in the Third Marine Division, Vietnam. He received the Bronze Star, two navy commendation Medals, the Purple Heart and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966 from Princeton University and a Master's degree in International Studies from New York University. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1973, where he served on the Law Review. He was born on August 7, 1944 and is married with two children. He currently resides in San Francisco, California.

(end transcript)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).