June 19th, 2013
01:54 PM ET
10 months ago

Where's the Comey announcement?

(CNN) – It's been nearly three weeks since word broke that President Obama planned to nominate James Comey to replace retiring Robert Mueller as FBI director.

But as of Wednesday, the White House hadn't made any moves on announcing Mueller's successor. His term ends in September, and with Congress out of town for much of August, that doesn't leave much time for the Senate to consider the president's nominee.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, raised the point Wednesday at a Senate hearing, and asked Mueller if he had any idea when they can expect the White House to announce his pick.

"I do, but I'm not in a position to be able to (inform) the committee," Mueller said.

The FBI director added that the administration has been preparing for a transition for the past two and a half years. "We are prepared to start the briefings as soon as the person is sworn in."

Comey served as a deputy attorney general in President George W. Bush's administration beginning in 2003.

He's perhaps best known for his testimony to a Senate committee in 2007, when he said he considered resigning his high-profile administration position over a disagreement about the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program.

Officials familiar with the nomination process confirmed to CNN on May 30 that Comey was Obama's choice to head the FBI.

But White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough sparked some intrigue Sunday when he referred to Comey as one "among many other people" who had been considered for the job.

"It's precisely because of his views on things like surveillance that I think he's come to the president's attention," McDonough said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

But the following week, the NSA–the same agency with which Comey had issues–was in the headlines after a contractor leaked information about two of the agency's massive surveillance programs.

Facing pushback from some who raised privacy concerns, Obama staunchly defended the programs shortly after they became known to the public. He described the NSA's work as "modest encroachments on privacy" that help prevent terrorism, but also repeatedly acknowledged that the country needs to have a debate over privacy vs. civil liberties.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chuck Grassley • FBI • Robert Mueller
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Comey is a man of principle and integrity and he's the ideal candidate for the job. Too bad that whomever the candidate is has to get confirmed through the Senate by jerks like Grassley.

    June 19, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Data Driven

    Grassley wouldn't vote for Comey most especially, given Comey's refreshing history, but then Grassley wouldn't vote for any Obama nominee, so why does he even care?

    June 19, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. just askin

    sorry... obama is far too busy vacationing. such trivial matters as this will just have to wait.

    June 19, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  4. it must be said

    Obama didn't want to harsh his vacation mellow with actual work. What's the rush? It's just the head of the FBI.

    June 19, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. Guess

    Goodie, another opportunity to see the gop obstruct, is this really what we pay these clowns for? enough already, vote the losers out

    June 19, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    it must be said
    Obama didn't want to harsh his vacation mellow with actual work. What's the rush? It's just the head of the FBI.
    ---------------------------------------------
    Why hasn't an ATF Director been confirmed yet? It's just the head organization responsible for GUNS!!!

    June 19, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Fair is Fair

    "He's perhaps best known for his testimony to a Senate committee in 2007, when he said he considered resigning his high-profile administration position over a disagreement about the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program."
    --------
    Since nothing has changed (and probably, in fact, worsened), maybe the Obama Administration's NSA domestic surveillance program has something to do with it, eh?

    June 19, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Donna

    Rudy NYC
    People just don't realize that direct US involvement in Syria will mean direct Russian involvement, which means a US vs. USSR armed conflict.
    ––

    Egads Rudy.... you've gone off the deep end with this statement! You've been on a tear lately with these whoppers. Surely giving Grimm a run for his money.
    --------
    Not to mention that there cannot be a "US vs. USSR armed conflict" cannot occur, as I believe the USSR ceased to exist in, I believe, 1991.

    June 19, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    "He's perhaps best known for his testimony to a Senate committee in 2007, when he said he considered resigning his high-profile administration position over a disagreement about the National Security Agency's domestic surveillance program."

    Since nothing has changed (and probably, in fact, worsened), maybe the Obama Administration's NSA domestic surveillance program has something to do with it, eh
    -------------
    Eh? What was that? No, no, no. 2007 was a different administration. An administration whose policy was to conduct warrantless wiretaps. The Obama administration files for wiretaps and notifies the targets, as per the law the Obama administration put in place.

    "Nice try, but we gotcha!'

    June 19, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. PaulCat

    What point would it make. We all know, if Obama say the sun rose from the east, the republicans would say "no" it rise from the north.

    June 19, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Oh pleeeeeease. Congress is out of town and touch even when they are in session.

    June 19, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Egads Rudy.... you've gone off the deep end with this statement! You've been on a tear lately with these whoppers. Surely giving Grimm a run for his money.
    --–
    Not to mention that there cannot be a "US vs. USSR armed conflict" cannot occur, as I believe the USSR ceased to exist in, I believe, 1991.
    -----------------
    Oops, a typo. But, there's no disputing the FACTS, which are that the Russians are not giving up the closest thing they have to warm water naval port. Neither are they going to allow anything to put it at risk, most especially including an American "No-Fly" zone.

    The warmongers in this country would like nothing better than some excuse to go after the Russians only warm water port. Even at the risk of starting a world war. What's the real tragedy is how the media has been completely ignoring the true significance of the Russian military presence in Syria to the Russians.

    Russians give Assad state of the art, anti-aircraft weaponry for good reason. A "No-Fly" zone will likely mean Russians manning the hi-tech stuff shooting at the Americans flying the hi-tech stuff....and vice versa.

    June 19, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. PJ

    "sorry.......obama is far too busy vacationing..."
    ---
    I would hardly call meeting with World leaders and giving speeches a "vacation", but call it what you will.

    In the meantime, Congress is busy preparing for their:
    1 week off in July,
    All of August,
    and Sept-Oct their 49 "work days" scheduled out of a possible 90.

    Why don't we just let them "call it in from home" and save a lot of travel money, plus cut their pay in half.
    Oh, right, they set their own pay, raises and work days.

    June 19, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Andersom

    What's the hold up on his nominee for ATF director or his nominees for federal court judges (which has been vacant since 2005)? I'm sure it's something congress can work on and really earn their paycheck.

    June 19, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |