Extending the FBI Director’s Term
FBI Director Robert Mueller’s ten-year term of office expires in September, and the President is proposing that Congress extend his tenure by two years. This is a terrible idea. That is so not because there is anything magical about ten years. The point of giving the director a term in office was to prevent the kinds of abuses (ahem . . . blackmail) that J.Edgar Hoover engaged in to stay in office for 48 years. If Congress had picked a twelve-year term when the limit was established in the 1970s, I would have no problem. But once the term is set, it should not be changed for one man.
Besides, there is no principled reason for extending Mueller’s term. We face no emergency or extraordinary situation. The President simply does not want to have a messy political fight to confirm a successor this summer (even though the deadline for such a nomination was clear a long time ago). Boo hoo–nominate someone and take the heat.