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Tag: william sessions

William S. Sessions, FBI Director from 1987-1993, Died At Age of 90

Former FBI Director William S. Sessions.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

William S. Sessions, who served as the director of the FBI under three presidents, died Friday in San Antonio.

He was 90.

Sessions’ tenure from 1987 to 1993 was a rocky one, The New York Times reports.

A Republican with bipartisan support, Sessions was first nominated by President Reagan and confirmed with unanimous Senate support. Sessions was hailed for supporting racial and gender equality in an agency that had long been dominated white men.

Sessions also was heavily criticized for the FBI’s role in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, and he eventually admitted that agents had overstepped by spying on Americans rallying against government policies in Central America.

His 10-year term was cut short when he became the first FBI Director to be fired for ethical abuses, allegations he later denied.

The FBI on Monday issued a statement:

Our hearts are heavy upon hearing that former FBI Director William S. Sessions passed away on June 12 in San Antonio, Texas, at the age of 90. Following his appointment to the federal district court, Judge Sessions served as Director of the FBI from 1987 to 1993, pioneering innovative ideas throughout his tenure.

He brought the FBI into the 21st century through the introduction of emerging science and technology and fostering a sense of diversity and inclusion so we were better equipped to carry out our mission of upholding the Constitution and protecting the American public. We will always hold the utmost respect and gratitude toward Judge Sessions for his inimitable contributions to our great institution.

AG Nominee Barr Was Influential in Removing Former FBI Director William Sessions

Trump’s attorney general pick, William Barr.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, William Barr, knows a thing or two about firing an FBI director.

As attorney general during the final years of George W.H. Bush’s presidency, Barr laid out a case for removing William Sessions as FBI director, The Wall Street Journal reports.  

His report detailed Sessions’ lapses in judgment and ethics in hopes that Sessions would resign. But Sessions refused, so Barr’s  successor, Janet Reno, affirmed the report’s findings, prompting President Clinton to fire Sessions in July 1993.

After some lawmakers alleged Trump’s May 201y termination of Comey amounted to obstruction of justice, Barr responded in a memo in June 2018 that the argument was “fatally misconceived.”

After Hoover, No FBI Director Has Served Longer than Robert S. Mueller III

Robert Mueller

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Next to the big guy, J. Edgar Hoover, Robert S. Mueller III is the longest serving FBI director.

And with Thursday’s announcement of a proposed two-year extension — which seems all but certain Congress will OK —  he’ll add to the record. His 10-year term is set to expire in September.

Next to Mueller, William Webster served the most years with  9 from Feb. 23, 1978 to May 25, 1987; Louis Freeh served nearly 8 years from Sept. 1, 1993 to June 25, 2001; William Sessions served nearly 6 years from Nov. 2, 1987 to July 19, 1993; and Clarence Kelley served nearly 5 from July 9, 1973 to Feb. 15, 1978.

William Webster/fbi photo

Hoover served nearly 37 years from July 1, 1935 to May 2, 1972.

There were also acting directors who served far shorter times.

After Hoover, Congress passed a law capping the FBI director’s term at 10-years. Congress will now have to change the overall legislation or pass some narrowly worded bill so Mueller can stay on for two more years. Mueller is generally well regarded on Capitol Hill, so it appears it won’t be a big problem passing some form of legislation.

That being said, some like Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.) indicated Thursday that they will give the matter some examination.

“This is an unusual step by the President, and is somewhat of a risky precedent to set,” Grassley said in a statement.

“Thirty-five years ago Congress limited the FBI director’s term to one, 10-year appointment as an important safeguard against improper political influence and abuses of the past. There’s no question that Director Mueller has proven his ability to run the FBI. And, we live in extraordinary times.

“So, I’m open to the President’s idea, but I will need to know more about his plan to ensure that this is not a more permanent extension that would undermine the purposes of the term limit.”

Clarence Kelley

William Sessions/fbi photo

Louis Freeh