The 2024 Executive Power Survey – F.B.I. Director


2024 Executive Power Survey

Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on F.B.I. Director

After the death of a longtime F.B.I. director, J. Edgar Hoover, and as part of the post-Watergate reform era, Congress created a system in which F.B.I. directors are to serve single, fixed 10-year terms rather than being replaced each time a new president takes office like an ordinary political appointee. In July 1993, William Sessions resigned early under pressure from President Bill Clinton after bipartisan findings that Mr. Sessions had used taxpayer-funded resources for personal use. In May 2017, James B. Comey Jr. was fired by President Donald J. Trump amid the early Russia investigation. Mr. Trump appointed Christopher A. Wray as director in August 2017, so his term is set to end in 2027.

If elected, would you allow Mr. Wray to serve out his term absent some new issue that has not yet come to public light?

Headshot of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

The post-Watergate reform was intended to prevent the F.B.I. from becoming a political instrument. The director of the F.B.I., enjoying the secure tenure of a 10-year term, would be insulated from pressure from the executive or other powerful politicians to serve their interests rather than those of the nation.

However, if compelling information comes to light that Director Wray has violated this principle and allowed the F.B.I. to be weaponized, then I will replace him with someone who will return the F.B.I. to its proper mission of enforcing the laws of the United States and protecting the nation against foreign espionage.

Headshot of Francis Suarez

I have the deepest respect for rank-and-file F.B.I. agents who work tirelessly in all of our communities to protect our citizens from violent gangs, human traffickers, child abusers and terrorists. However, the highly irregular conduct of the F.B.I. leadership has raised real concerns regarding its perceived political conduct. An F.B.I. director must be a credible, nonpartisan public servant who holds the confidence of the American people. I’m concerned that the current director of the F.B.I., Christopher Wray, no longer holds such public confidence.

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