George W. Bush photo

Remarks on the Nomination of Robert S. Mueller to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

July 05, 2001

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.

Our 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 counterespionage and counterterrorist 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.


[At this point, Director-designate Mueller made brief remarks.]

The President. Congratulations.

Director-designate Mueller. Thank you very much, sir.

The President. Thank you all for coming.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:30 a.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Thomas J. Pickard, Acting Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Director-designate Mueller.

George W. Bush, Remarks on the Nomination of Robert S. Mueller to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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