Congressional Record: August 2, 2001 (Senate)
Page S8680-S8691

     robert s. mueller, iii, to be director of the federal bureau of 

  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I have moved swiftly in the Judiciary 
Committee to consider and move forward the nomination of Robert S. 
Mueller, III, to be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 
His nomination was sent to the Senate on July 18 but his paperwork was 
not completed until July 24. Less than one week later, we held 2 days 
of hearings, on July 30 and 31, and made sure that the committee 
considered his nomination the same week, on August 2, in order to 
ensure committee and Senate consideration of this important nomination 
before the August recess. The committee unanimously and favorably 
reported this nomination. I thank the Democratic and Republican members 
of the committee for their cooperation and attention in allowing this 
nomination to move forward on an expedited basis.
  Mr. Mueller has had an outstanding career in law enforcement, serving 
as a Federal prosecutor in three different United States Attorneys' 
Offices and in Main Justice under both Republican and Democratic 
administrations. As he testified at his confirmation hearing, he has 
``either personally prosecuted or supervised the prosecution of just 
about every type of Federal Criminal offense, including homicide, drug 
trafficking, organized crime, cyber crime, major frauds, civil rights 
and environmental crime.''
  Mr. Mueller was the only witness at his hearings. The committee did 
not call other witnesses we are in the midst of intensive and ongoing 
FBI oversight hearings. These FBI oversight hearings were an integral 
part of the committee's preparation to consider the nomination of a new 
FBI Director, and Mr. Mueller's opening statement at his confirmation 
hearings specifically addressed significant issues raised in the prior 
  At the oversight hearing on June 20, 2001, the committee examined 
both outside oversight mechanisms and methods to restore confidence in 
the FBI. Witnesses included former Senator John C. Danforth, who 
investigated the events at Waco as Special Counsel to the Attorney 
General; the Honorable William H. Webster, former FBI and CIA Director, 
currently heading a review of FBI security in the aftermath of the 
Hanssen espionage case; Glenn A. Fine, current Inspector General of the 
Department of Justice; Michael R. Bromwich, former Inspector General of 
the Department of Justice; and Norman J. Rabkin, Managing Director, Tax 
Administration and Justice Issues, General Accounting Office.
  At the oversight hearing on July 18, 2001, the committee considered 
the reform of FBI management with views from inside and outside the 
FBI. Witnesses included Raymond W. Kelly, former New York City Police 
Commissioner and Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service; Bob E. Dies, 
FBI Assistant Director for Information Resources; Kenneth H. Senser, 
Acting FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Security Programs and 
Countermeasures; John E. Roberts, Unit Chief, FBI Office of 
Professional Responsibility; John Werner, former Supervisory Special 
Agent, FBI Office of Professional Responsibility; Frank L. Perry, 
Supervisory Senior Resident Agent, Raleigh, North Carolina, and former 
head of the Office of Law Enforcement Ethics at the FBI

[[Page S8681]]

Academy; and Patrick J. Kiernan, Supervisory Special Agent in the Law 
Enforcement Ethics Unit at the FBI Academy.
  This nomination comes at a crucial juncture for the FBI. Mr. Mueller 
acknowledged at his confirmation hearing ``that the Bureau's remarkable 
legacy of service and accomplishment has been tarnished by some serious 
and highly publicized problems in recent years. Waco, Ruby Ridge, the 
FBI lab, Wen Ho Lee, Robert Hanssen and the McVeigh documents--these 
familiar names and events remind us all that the FBI is far from 
perfect and that the next director faces significant management and 
administrative challenges.'' Mr. Mueller reminded us ``that these 
problems do not tell the whole story of the FBI in recent years.'' He 
correctly observed that the FBI has had ``astonishing success during 
the same period'' and that ``the men and women of the FBI have 
continued, throughout this period of controversy, to do an outstanding 
job.'' Nevertheless, Mr. Mueller recognized that ``highly publicized 
problems have, indeed, shaken the public's trust in the FBI.'' The 
Judiciary Committee aims to forge a constructive partnership with Mr. 
Mueller to get the FBI back on track. Congress sometimes has followed a 
hands-off approach about the FBI. Until the Bureau's problems are 
solved, we will need a hands-on approach for awhile.
  The rights of all Americans are at stake in the selection of an FBI 
Director. The FBI has extraordinary power to affect the lives of 
ordinary Americans. By properly using its extraordinary investigative 
powers, the FBI can protect the security of us all by combating 
sophisticated crime, terrorism, and espionage. But unchecked, these 
same powers can undermine our civil liberties, such as freedom of 
speech and of association, and the right to privacy. By leaking 
information, the FBI can destroy the lives and reputations of people 
who have not been charged or had a trial. Worse, such leaking can be 
used for political intimidation and coercion. By respecting 
constitutional safeguards for criminal suspects, the FBI can help 
ensure that persons accused of Federal crimes receive a fair trial and 
that justice is served. Our paramount standard for evaluating a new 
Director is his demonstrated adherence to the Constitution as the 
bulwark of liberty and the rule of law. This is necessary to assure the 
American people that the FBI will exercise its power effectively and 
  Throughout is career and in his testimony at his confirmation 
hearing, Mr. Mueller has showed his commitment to these principles. He 
testified, ``I care deeply about the rule of law. In a free society a 
central responsibility of government. I believe, is to protect its 
citizens from criminal harm within the framework of the Constitution.'' 
He stressed that ``the FBI is vital to the preservation of our civil 
order and our civil rights.''
  This was the sixth time the Judiciary Committee has held confirmation 
hearings for an FBI Director since 1973, when the first nomination was 
made under the 1968 law requiring Presidential appointment and Senate 
confirmation of the FBI Director.
  That first nomination hearings, along with enactment in 1976 of the 
10-year term for the Director, were conducted against the backdrop of 
Watergate. The nominee then was L. Patrick Gray, an Assistant Attorney 
General who became Acting Director after the death of J. Edgar Hoover 
in 1972. Gray held that position when the Watergate break-in and cover-
up occurred. At the time of his confirmation hearings in early 1973, 
very little of the scandal was known beyond the reporting of the 
Washington Post. Patrick Gray had met with the President's Counsel John 
Dean, so this committee prepared to subpoena Dean and expected strong 
resistance in the name of Executive privilege. Other events then took 
over, the Gray nomination was withdrawn, and he later admitted 
personally destroying evidence. Those were dark days for the Bureau.
  Lost confidence in the FBI is not just a PR problem. The challenges 
facing the next FBI Director are different from the issues of abuse of 
power three decades ago but are just as tough. The American public has 
lost some confidence in the Bureau. This is not just a PR problem. This 
erosion of public trust threatens the FBI's ability to perform its 
mission. Citizens who mistrust the FBI will be less likely to come 
forward and report information about criminal activity. Judges and 
jurors will be less likely to believe the testimony of FBI witnesses. 
Even innocent or minor mistakes by the FBI in future cases may be 
perceived in a sinister light that is not warranted. Since FBI agents 
perform forensic and other critical work for many law enforcement 
agencies on the Federal, State and local levels, the repercussions of 
this decline in public confidence in the FBI has rippled far beyond 
Federal criminal cases.
  In his confirmation testimony, Mr. Mueller took special note of the 
impact within the FBI: ``The shaken trust, in turn, inevitably affects 
the morale of the men and women who serve at the Bureau.'' He pledged 
to ``make it my highest priority to restore the public's confidence in 
the FBI, to re-earn the faith and trust of the American people.''
  Constructive oversight is necessary. For too long, the Congress has 
taken a hands-off approach to the FBI. Problems have been allowed to 
fester. The Congress has a duty to the American people to conduct 
systematic and ongoing oversight of the FBI to ensure it meets the 
highest standards of professionalism, competence, and adherence to the 
law. Constructive, bipartisan oversight of the FBI can greatly improve 
its effectiveness. While reviews by Inspectors General and other 
outside experts are important--the ultimate test is accountability to 
the people through the Congress.
  Three principles guide the Judiciary Committee's oversight of the 
FBI. First, our task is to rebuild confidence in the FBI as a vital 
national asset, not to tear it down.
  Second, when we look at mistakes, we do so as an essential first step 
to find and fix their cause. The purpose is not to detract from the 
outstanding work of the dedicated professional men and women of the FBI 
who go to work every day to keep this nation safe. Highly publicized 
mistakes have created an impression that the Bureau is unmanageable, 
unaccountable and unreliable. Unfortunately, these mistakes detract 
from the outstanding performance of FBI Special Agents and other 
employees who handle the most complex criminal, terrorist, and 
counterintelligence cases day in and day out. Only by fixing those 
problems, and continuously improving the organization, will the 
tremendous work done by so many agents and employees get the full 
credit it deserves.
  Finally, our efforts will be to reach bipartisan solutions that make 
the FBI better able to fulfill the weighty mission we demand of it. 
Working with the new Director and the Attorney General, I am convinced 
we can achieve these goals.
  Several Members discussed with the nominee his views on providing 
information to Congress. In response to Senator Schumer's concern about 
a request he had made for documents from the FBI on a policy issue 
regarding records of gun sales, Mr. Mueller said:

       I do believe that the Bureau should do everything possible 
     to accommodate the requests of Congress. If there are 
     documents that relate to the policy, that are generated by 
     the FBI, then I believe the Department of Justice and the FBI 
     should do everything possible to accommodate the request of 
     Congress, consistent with its law enforcement 

  Mr. Mueller repeated this assurance when Senator Specter cited a 
number of problems in getting FBI documents over the years. Mr. Mueller 
stated, ``I absolutely agree that Congress is entitled to oversight of 
the ongoing responsibilities of the FBI and the Department of 
Justice.'' He added that ``it is incumbent upon the FBI and the 
Department of Justice to attempt to accommodate every request from 
Congress swiftly and, where it cannot accommodate or believes that 
there are confidential issues that have to be raised, to bring to your 
attention and articulate with some specificity, not just the fact that 
there's an ongoing investigation, not just the fact that there's an 
ongoing or an upcoming trial, but with specificity why producing the 
documents would interfere with either that trial or for some other 
reason or we believed covered by some issue of confidentiality.''
  Mr. Mueller cited two cases, BCCI and BNL, when he was head of the 
Justice Department's Criminal Division

[[Page S8682]]

where an accommodation was reached to provide information to Congress 
on pending cases. He said he ``would expect that we would always have 
that ability to accomplish the accommodation that is necessary for 
Congress to discharge its responsibilities in oversight.'' Questioned 
further, Mr. Mueller said ``congressional oversight is appropriate, 
even if there is a pending prosecution or investigation'' and ``it is 
incumbent upon us to attempt to accommodate the necessity of the 
oversight committee to have the information it needs.'' He went on to 
say there may be ``the assertion of executive privilege'' and ``where 
there is a clash or disagreement between the executive and the 
legislative, I believe the courts are the final arbiters.''
  Senator Grassley expressed concern about a deliberate pattern of 
denying, delaying or simply not complying with legitimate requests and 
asked the nominee how he would change the Bureau's penchant for denying 
legitimate access to documents and witnesses. Mr. Mueller replied that 
if there is an investigation by a committee of Congress, he would 
``expect to have somebody responsible for assuring that we are 
responsive on that particular issue'' and, where ``some confidential 
interests'' are implicated, ``to state honestly and directly to the 
committee what should be done to accommodate the committee's request.'' 
He would like to ``foster a change in the perception so that you do 
have the feeling at the end of the day that the FBI has been 

  Accommodation, rather than obstruction, of congressional requests for 
documents will be Mr. Mueller's goal. That is a positive promise.
  Three core problems: The questions being asked about the FBI are 
directed at three interrelated issues: the Bureau's security and 
information technology problems, management problems, and insular 
``culture.'' The committee is in the midst of examining each of these 
areas at oversight hearings that began in June shortly after I became 
  Serious security breakdowns and information technology inadequacies: 
In the national security field, our country depends on FBI 
counterintelligence to protect the most sensitive intelligence, 
military, and diplomatic secrets from foreign espionage. The espionage 
case of Robert Hanssen demonstrates, however, that the FBI's own 
security and the investigation of espionage in its own ranks failed 
dramatically, with enormous potential consequences. What is more 
disturbing is how many red flags the FBI apparently overlooked during 
the many years that Hanssen was a spy. The reviews by the Inspector 
General and Judge Webster will not be done for many months, but 
testimony before the Committee in July shed light on how this spy was 
able to operate with impunity for so long. We were told that there were 
no less than 15 different areas of security at the FBI that were broken 
and needed to be ``bolstered, redesigned, or in some cases established 
for the first time.''
  The committee intends to continue its oversight work in this area, 
including closed sessions with the Director and other FBI officials to 
consider classified aspects of FBI information security.
  One of the things Director Freeh did after Hanssen's arrest was to 
require periodic security-screening polygraph exams for FBI agents with 
access to the most sensitive information. Reviews are currently 
underway that focus on the benefits and risks of the polygraph as a 
security screening tool. If the FBI needs wider use of polygraph exams, 
there must be firm assurances of consistency in their administration, 
application and quality controls. In response to a question from 
Senator Hatch, Mr. Mueller said he is willing to continue the 
requirement for polygraph exams for managers handling national security 
matters. He confirmed that he had already completed that polygraph 
exam. He stated his belief that ``you don't ask people to do that which 
you're unwilling to do yourself.''
  The FBI needs to fully join the 21st century. This is the information 
age, but the FBI's information technology is obsolete. The committee 
has been told that the FBI's computer systems have not been updated for 
over 6 years; that more than 13,000 desktop computers are so old they 
cannot run on today's basic software; that the majority of the smaller 
FBI field offices have internal networks that work more slowly than the 
Internet connections many of us have at home; and that the 
investigative databases are so old that FBI agents are unable to store 
photographs, graphical or tabular data on them.
  Hard-working, dedicated FBI agents trying to fight crime across the 
country deserve better, and they should have the computer and network 
tools that most businesses take for granted and many Americans enjoy at 
  To the credit of former FBI Director Louis Freeh, in the last year of 
his tenure, he reached outside the Bureau for fresh management 
perspectives and expert advice. He recruited two new senior FBI 
officials, who were not career agents but were brought into the FBI 
from IBM and the CIA to develop plans for addressing the Bureau's 
security and information technology problems. The Director should 
continue to look for the best advice from outside the Bureau, while at 
the same time identifying leaders within the Bureau who are committed 
to necessary reforms. In the months ahead the committee will watch 
closely to see if the Director backs up the proponents of reform when 
they face opposition from Bureau officials wedded to the status quo.
  At his confirmation hearings Mr. Mueller placed great emphasis on the 
need ``to upgrade the information systems and to upgrade the systems 
and procedures to integrate modern technology. Every FBI manager, 
indeed, every agent needs to be computer literate, not a computer 
programmer, but aware of what computers can and cannot do to assist 
them with their jobs.''
  When asked by Senator DeWine how quickly he would be able to fully 
implement the FBI's information technology plan, Mr. Mueller said the 
Bureau has ``a 3-year technology update plan called Trilogy, and the 
goods news about that is that it's laying the foundation, whether it be 
the networks or the software, the hardware, the user interfaces for 
bringing the FBI agent into the modern era.'' He added that the ``not-
so-good news is that once we have that structure in place, there's a 
lot more to do.'' Mr. Mueller cited in particular ``the storage and 
each retrieval of documents, of imaging documents when they come in 
immediately so that you have ultimately what is referred to in the 
private sector as a paperless office.''
  The security and information technology problems facing the FBI are 
not problems of money. The Congress has poured money into the FBI. They 
are management problems and they can no longer be ignored. Mr. Mueller 
has seen the FBI up close for many years--as Acting Deputy Attorney 
General, as Assistant Attorney General, and in three United States 
Attorneys' offices. The committee wanted to know what management 
objectives he would bring to the job, based on his past experience, and 
what other resources he would draw on to bring about needed changes.
  Mr. Mueller spelled out his overall ``management priorities'' in his 
opening statement to the committee: ``Underlying these priorities is my 
belief that the core asset of the FBI is its employees. I am committed 
to providing the leadership, and management, and energy necessary to 
enable these talented and dedicated people to do their jobs as 
effectively as possible.'' His first priority will be ``to recruit, 
encourage, and select the highest quality leadership'' resulting in ``a 
management team that reflects the diversity of our society.'' Second to 
``review carefully management structures and systems'' with special 
concern ``about the span of control, the degree of decentralization, 
and whether responsibilities are clearly defined.'' Third is to rebuild 
the information infrastructure, as discussed earlier. Fourth is for the 
FBI ``to review continuously its priorities and its allocation of 
resources'' in order to ``anticipate the challenges the Bureau will be 
facing 10 and 20 years into the future and prepare now to meet those 
challenges.'' Fifth is to ``develop the respect and confidence of those 
with whom it intersects, including other law enforcement agencies, both 
domestic and international, and Congress.''

  Mr. Mueller added that he would ``move quickly on administrative and 
management changes.'' Personnel

[[Page S8683]]

changes would be made first. Changes in structure and span of control 
would take more time, with input from a management consultant study 
commissioned by the Attorney General, other pending reviews, and ideas 
from other executives who rule large organizations.
  The management structure at the FBI may simply have become too 
unwieldy. when the Bureau was smaller, its headquarters could 
reasonably attempt to keep track of the activities in its field 
offices. In recent years, however, the Bureau has grown tremendously 
with 56 field offices, plus 44 overseas legal attaches. It may not be 
possible for headquarters to effectively monitor field activities. The 
belated production of documents in Oklahoma City bombing case happened 
despite 16 separate orders from headquarters for pretrial production of 
those documents. Similar problems arose in the Wen Ho Lee case, where a 
field office disregarded instructions from headquarters. At the FBI 
oversight hearings Former New York Police Commissioner and Customs 
Commissioner Ray Kelly testified that a regional structure makes a 
large law enforcement organization more manageable.
  At the confirmation hearings I asked Mr. Mueller whether this is 
something that would be considered. He replied, ``Absolutely,'' and 
said he ``did read Commissioner Kelly's testimony with some interest.'' 
He added, ``I would look at that proposal with a view to whether it 
goes toward affording appropriate span of control.'' He went on to 
stress the need ``to have the technological infrastructure be such that 
I would be able to review, as would the intermediate managers, review 
the work on critical cases or critical classes of cases by turning on 
your computer and using the mouse to click on a series of cases to see 
what has been done the last 3 days, what you expect to be done in the 
next 30 days.''
  Senator Kohl asked if it was realistic to expect big changes quickly, 
given the size of the FBI with more than 27,000 employees and a budget 
of more than $3.5 billion. Mr. Mueller replied, ``I do think that one 
can relatively quickly, over several weeks/months, learn the 
institution and learn the people, learn what are the largest problems, 
whether it is span of control, what are the larger personnel problems 
and in a relatively short time. And I don't want to specify any 
particular time, but certainly within months start to make substantial 
changes.'' He added that making ``the most critical decisions'' about 
positions of leadership ``is not an extraordinarily time-consuming 
undertaking.'' Changing the organizational structure and the span of 
control ``will take longer time than perhaps making some personnel 
  I asked the nominee what management problems caused the FBI's failure 
to produce documents in the McVeigh case. Mr. Mueller cited two 
contributing factors. One was ``the lack of an infrastructure to have 
all documents coded and readily available'' in a case with ``a huge 
volume of documents spread across any number of offices in this country 
and internationally.'' Second was ``accountability'' and ``overlapping 
areas of responsibility in various areas of the FBI'' which make it 
``very difficult to have accountability.'' There was ``perhaps a 
failure of accountability down to the lowest levels.'' Mr. Mueller said 
he would address this issue: ``It has been my practice in the past to 
identify areas of responsibility, put somebody in charge of that area 
of responsibility and hold that individual accountable for discharging 
that responsibility. And I want to make certain that where that is done 
within the Bureau, there is clear accountability.''
  I also asked Mr. Mueller to discuss the time of his own reporting to 
the Attorney general on the document production problem in the McVeigh 
case. He testified: ``Turning to the issue of the time line, upon 
hearing about the issue, I heard about it I believe on a Wednesday 
afternoon. On that Friday, the decision was made to put over the 
execution of Mr. McVeigh. When I heard about it on a Wednesday 
afternoon, the initial response, and I believe I talked to the 
prosecutor that night or the following morning, the initial thrust of 
what I was concerned about is to make certain that defense counsel were 
aware of this immediately so that defense counsel could make its or 
their own interpretation of whether these documents contained any Brady 
or exculpatory information.''

  Mr. Mueller also testified:

       I was not aware, I don't believe, at the outset the extent 
     of the commitment to turn over documents until the following 
     morning. And I actually had brief discussions with Mr. 
     Ashcroft's staff on Wednesday afternoon, I think it was, 
     about it, but I did not have an opportunity to fully brief 
     the Attorney General until the following day, at which point 
     I did have an opportunity to brief him more expansively that 
     the fact that I had mentioned previously to his staff, that 
     there was an issue. And, thereafter, the discussions ensured 
     as to what was the appropriate response we would take to the 
     fact that these documents had come to our attention.

  Both Senator Feingold and Senator Sessions raised concerns about the 
FBI's failure to provide information to prosecutors in the 1963 
Birmingham bombing case. Mr. Mueller testified that he shared this 
concern. In cases ``involving national security information that may 
bear on a particular prosecution,'' there may be ``valid reasons for 
keeping certain of the information from the prosecutors that go into 
court,'' but mechanisms exist ``to assure that there is no Brady 
information, exculpatory information that should be given to the 
defense.'' He added that the day-to-day problem of FBI inability to 
produce documents quickly ``is attributable in part to its antiquated 
filing system.'' He said his objective is to have an FBI system to 
image documents into a database to make them ``immediately accessible 
so that you do not have the problem such as you saw with he prosecution 
of the McVeigh documents.''
  Mr. Mueller expressed his willingness to reach out to experts 
wherever they may be found, including in and outside the FBI to address 
management and infrastructure problems. He stated that he has ``reached 
out, and will continue to reach out'' to ``persons who have been in the 
Bureau previously'' and ``persons in large corporations, CEOs, who have 
run successful corporations to try to identify those management 
structures that worked well and would work best at the FBI.'' He also 
is ``looking forward to receiving the report of the consulting firm 
that is charged with looking at the FBI from top to bottom.'' Mr. 
Mueller added that he ``would welcome the insight from any other 
individuals, assuming it is a combination of individuals with 
experience in management and private industry, law enforcement, and 
other walks of life.

  With regard to FBI personnel management, Mr. Mueller agreed that 
promotion of diversity within the FBI to ensure that the FBI employment 
level is reflective of America is a priority. The FBI should be more 
sensitive to recruiting and training minorities. In addition, Mr. 
Mueller acknowledged in response to questions from Senator Durbin that 
``racial profiling is abhorrent to the Constitution, it is abhorrent in 
any way, shape or form. And I would make certain that from the first 
day an FBI agent sets foot in the academy in Quantico that that refrain 
is repeated as part of the training, and as one goes through the ranks, 
continuous retraining, and focus on the fact that the FBI, in order to 
be the preeminent law enforcement organization in the country if not in 
the world, has to have an unblemished record with regard to addressing 
and strongly attacking any indication of racial profiling.''
  It is especially important to understand how the nominee views the 
FBI Director's relationship with the Attorney General in the overall 
management structure at the Department of Justice. Too often in the 
past Directors have had the final word on management of the Bureau. Of 
course, there are legitimate concerns about political interference with 
investigations, as Watergate demonstrated. The FBI Director is not, 
however, unique in having to resist with interference. Both the FBI 
Director and the Attorney General have that duty, and they should work 
together to ensure the integrity of both investigations and 
prosecutions. The FBI Director should be part of the Justice 
Department's leadership team.
  I asked Mr. Mueller under oath at his confirmation hearing to give 
his commitment that if he were ever pressured politically by the 
Republications or the Democrats to affect an investigation, that he 
would resist that pressure with

[[Page S8684]]

all his might. Mr. Mueller replied, ``Absolutely.''
  I questioned the nominee on how he sees the FBI Director's 
relationship with the current and subsequent Attorneys General, since 
he may work with more than one Attorney General over his 10-year term. 
Mr. Mueller testified:

       This is the most difficult issue I think that a director of 
     the FBI has to address, in that the FBI has its ultimate 
     responsibility to the American people to be independent, to 
     pursue its investigations without any favor to one political 
     party or the other or to any particular individual, no matter 
     how powerful that individual should be. And on a day-to-day 
     basis, on the other hand, I do believe that, absent 
     extraordinary circumstances, the Director of the FBI, and the 
     FBI, is a component of * * * the Department of Justice, 
     reporting to the Attorney General. And there should be a 
     close relationship on, for instance, policy matters, and 
     there is a requirement in almost every matter that the 
     Attorney General be apprised of that. And, again, I report, 
     in essence, to the Attorney General and then to the 

       There may be circumstances--there have been in history--
     where it is important for the FBI and the Director of the FBI 
     to put * * * the interests of the people above that reporting 
     structure. And I hope that I do not have occasion to meet 
     such a situation, but there is the possibility, perhaps even 
     the probability, that I will. If there is an occasion where I 
     believe that for reasons of political influence or the 
     influence of the powerful that the Bureau is asked to do 
     something that is inappropriate, wrong under the 
     Constitution, that under those circumstances I have an 
     obligation to find a way to address that. It may be going 
     elsewhere in the administration. It may be going to Congress. 
     It may be going to the American people. I don't know what the 
     exact answer is. But I hope I do not have to face that 
     situation because it will be the hardest decision that, 
     should I be confirmed as Director, would have to make.

  I consider this answer to be a model for all Mr. Mueller's successors 
as FBI Director.
  Senator Specter and Senator Sessions asked the nominee what he would 
do if he had information that the Attorney General was taking an 
improper law enforcement action for political reasons. Mr. Mueller 
replied that he would ``go to the Attorney General first before I made 
perhaps a disclosure to Congress.'' He would also ``explore other 
alternatives or a variety of alternatives in order to make certain that 
justice was done.'' Questioned further on the second day of the 
hearing, Mr. Mueller said that ``if it was a matter of substantial 
consequence'' and he ``was turned down by the Attorney General, I would 
think I'd have an obligation to inform the Senate of that, and produce 
those documents.''
  In the discussion of this issue, reference was made to a memorandum 
from FBI Deputy Director Esposito to FBI Director Freeh, dated December 
9, 1996. In that memorandum Mr. Esposito said Lee Radek, chief of the 
Justice Department's Public Integrity Section, had made a comment to 
Director Freeh. According to the Esposito memorandum, Mr. Radek had 
commented that there was a lot of ``pressure'' on him regarding a case 
before the ``Attorney General's job might hang in the balance.'' The 
accuracy of this memorandum has been seriously questioned. At a 
Subcommittee hearing on May 24, 2000, Mr. Radek testified that he felt 
pressure from the Attorney General to do a good job, but that there was 
no connection in his mind between any such pressure and whether or not 
the Attorney General would continue in her job as Attorney General 
during the second Clinton Administration. Mr. Esposito's second-hand 
account has not been corroborated. This episode should be a warning of 
the risk that lower level officials may seek to sabotage political 
appointees. The use of this memorandum as a straw man for questioning 
the nominee should not imply agreement by other Members to its 
  The nominee was also asked to consider the possibility that he and 
the Attorney General might decide to withhold information on national 
security matters from a President if the President were the target of a 
criminal investigation. In response to a question from Senator Specter, 
Mr. Mueller stated, ``There may be an occasion where it's possible, 
yes.'' Mr. Mueller also explained that, if disclosing ``information to 
a target would hamper or undercut the investigation,'' he would expect 
``that any decision as to whether or not that information should be 
disclosed to the target would be made in conjunction with the Attorney 
General. But the decision may well be that that information should not 
be disclosed.'' Mr. Mueller went on to state, ``If it is national 
security information, on the other hand, that bears upon the security 
of the United States, I think we have an obligation to assure that 
anything within those materials that bears on the national security 
finds its place in the national security structure.''
  I am troubled by an apparent inconsistency in this response, because 
the President bears full and ultimate responsibility for the national 
security structure and all the diplomatic, military, intelligence, and 
other actions necessary to protect the nation's security. An FBI 
Director must find a way to accommodate the legitimate needs of the 
President to exercise his constitutional responsibilities for national 
security, just as it accommodates the needs of the Congress to exercise 
its oversight responsibilities.
  The FBI ``culture'' needs an overhaul. The committee is receiving 
testimony in our oversight hearings showing that, too often, the 
independence that is part of the FBI's culture has crossed the line 
into arrogance. Senator Danforth expressed concern to this committee 
about entrenched executives at the FBI who have created a closed and 
insular culture resistant to disclosure of mistakes and to reforms. His 
concern was echoed in testimony the committee heard from experienced 
FBI Special agents, who told us of a ``club'' mentality among some 
Bureau executives who resist criticism or change that threatens their 
careers. Senator Danforth recommended that the new director should be 
prepared to clean house to the extent necessary to implement needed 
  If there is one message that a new Director should get from recent 
problems, it is that FBI executives need to be more willing to admit 
their mistakes. Too often their response is to protect the Bureau from 
embarrassment or shield self-serving executives from criticism and 
needed change. As Senator Danforth testified, the FBI helped fan the 
flames of conspiracy theories at Waco by covering up evidence that it 
used pyrotechnic rounds, even though they had nothing to do with 
starting the fire. The present FBI culture makes it easier to cover up 
rather than admit a mistake. A new Director must understand that this 
type of conduct risks a far greater cost in the lost of public 
confidence, as compared with admitting mistakes when they occur.
  Let me cite one example that occurred just a week ago. In its recent 
weekly newsletter for FBI employees, the FBI reported on the Judiciary 
Committee's July 18 hearing. But the newsletter reported on the 
Testimony of the two senior FBI agents, who told us about what they 
were doing to fix the security and information technology problems at 
the FBI. Their testimony was also the only testimony posted on the FBI 
website. Yet, the testimony of the four other FBI agents who testified 
about problems of a double standard in adjudicating discipline and 
about retaliation within the FBI was ignored--not mentioned in the 
newsletter nor posted on the Website. Ignoring the testimony will not 
make it disappear. This kind of attitude makes it much harder to make 
the changes that need to be made. If the FBI tries to suppress 
information that things have gone wrong, it will never get them fixed.
  When I asked Mr. Mueller at his confirmation hearings about this 
newsletter, he stated ``that it is important that everybody in the 
Bureau look at both the good and the bad in order to address it.'' 
After my remarks at the nomination hearings, FBI Headquarters decided 
to send the testimony of the four other FBI agents to the field 
offices. That was the right decision.
  In his opening statement, Mr. Mueller discussed the broader concerns 
about the FBI's culture:

       [A]s we examine the mistakes of the past, we must be 
     resolved to respond quickly and forthrightly to the mistakes 
     of the future. Three elements are critical to a proper 
     response: First, we must be willing to admit immediately that 
     a mistake has occurred. This includes providing timely 
     information to the appropriate committees of Congress. And 
     for matters involving cases and courts, immediately informing 
     the court and defense counsel as appropriate. Failure to 
     admit one's mistakes contributes to the perception of 
     institutional arrogance.

[[Page S8685]]

       Second, those responsible for the mistake must be held 
     accountable. This does not mean punishing employees for 
     simple errors in doing their jobs. Nobody is perfect, and we 
     want to encourage people to come forward immediately when 
     mistakes are made, but we must hold people accountable, and 
     we cannot tolerate efforts to cover up problems or to blame 
     others for them. If confirmed, I will be committed to 
     inculcating a culture which understands that we all make 
     mistakes and that we must be forthright and honest in 
     admitting them and correcting them as quickly as possible. We 
     must tell the truth and let the facts speak for themselves. 
     The truth is what we expect in our investigations of others, 
     and the truth is what we must demand of ourselves when we 
     come under scrutiny . . . .
       And, third, every significant mistake must be examined to 
     determine whether broader reform is necessary. We must learn 
     from our mistakes or we will be bound to repeat them.

  I questioned Mr. Mueller about two recent cases where mistakes have 
not been rectified. Documents provided to the Committee on the Justice 
Department's January 2001 decision on Ruby Ridge discipline revealed 
that discipline given to some FBI agents in January 1995 was incorrect. 
Another example was a CIA officer who was initially suspected of 
espionage before the FBI discovered that Hanssen was the real culprit. 
The CIA officer was cleared and allowed to return to his work, but the 
FBI did not formally notify him or his family that he is no longer 
suspected of any wrongdoing. Mr. Mueller agreed to look into these 
  In other questioning of the nominee, Senator Sessions observed that 
there has been a concern in the FBI that if somebody made an honest 
error, the hierarchy would be too hard on them. He saw this as a factor 
in the lack of willingness to come forward with and admit an error. Mr. 
Mueller agreed and said ``the bedrock principle ought to be to tell the 
truth . . . the sooner the better.'' Senator Specter asked Mr. Mueller 
what his response would be when an FBI official deliberately does not 
correct a mistake in testimony to Congress or deliberately does not 
disclose important information. He replied that ``absolutely anybody 
who lies deserves the strongest sanction, up to and including dismissal 
from the FBI.''
  Another concern about the FBI culture is the Bureau's treatment of 
local law enforcement agencies. Senator DeWine asked how the nominee 
intended to set the right tone for the FBI in this area. Mr. Mueller 
replied that one way would be ``outreach'' to address any complaints 
such as stealing an investigation. He also stressed that ``the FBI can 
and should allow others to trumpet its successes.'' He stated, ``In my 
own mind, the praise that makes the biggest difference is that that 
comes from others with whom you've worked. And my hope would be that we 
could operate on that principle.''
  Senator Grassley expressed concern about a culture of arrogance at 
the FBI, exemplified by the practice of holding press conferences in 
very high-profile cases before the investigation is complete. Mr. 
Mueller responded that he is ``not a great one for press conferences'' 
and that in cases where the FBI assists local law enforcement ``I would 
much rather have, at the conclusion of an investigation, that the state 
and locals stand at the podium, do the press conference, and thank the 
  Senator Specter, citing an unanswered letter he sent to Director 
Freeh about leaks in the press regarding an alleged investigation of 
Senator Torricelli, asked what action the FBI Director could take to 
preclude these types of leaks. Mr. Mueller replied, ``Generally 
speaking . . . I abhor leaks. They are detrimental to the mission of 
the FBI. They are detrimental to most particularly the individual who 
is the subject of them. I think you set a standard of very harsh 
treatment when an investigation is conducted and somebody is determined 
to have leaked.'' He pledged to ``do everything in my power to assure'' 
that Justice Department regulations on public statements ``are abided 
by and that any breach of those regulations is treated firmly.'' He 
also agreed ``to determine whether there is predication'' for an 
inquiry on the leaks regarding Senator Torricelli and, if there is 
predication, to ``conduct an inquiry.''
  To ensure full investigation of mistakes, I support the change made 
by the Attorney General to give the Justice Department's Inspector 
General full authority over the FBI. The Inspector General statute 
should be amended to make this regulatory change permanent. Witnesses 
at the oversight hearings expressed concern that the Inspector General 
will not get the same cooperation from FBI personnel as a separate 
Inspector General for the Bureau. The Director's responsibility 
includes ensuring that FBI personnel cooperate fully with the Inspector 
General. One former Justice Department Inspector General testified 
that, when his office sought FBI personnel to work on a review of FBI 
performance, experienced Agents were reluctant to participate and 
declined to have their names listed in the report. Agents did not view 
this work as ``career-enhancing.'' A Director must make clear that FBI 
executives should reward--not discourage--participation in Inspector 
General, and other oversight, investigations of Bureau performance.
  The committee has heard disturbing testimony about retaliation 
against FBI Agents who are tasked to investigate their colleagues or 
who discuss issues with the Congress, either directly or through 
cooperation with the General Accounting Office, which assists in 
congressional oversight. It is important that a new Director send a 
clear message to FBI employees that he will not tolerate retaliation 
against agents who conduct internal investigations or who bring 
information about wrongdoing to the Congress directly.
  In response to a question from Senator Durbin about his proposal for 
a separate FBI Inspector General, Mr. Mueller noted the Attorney 
General's recent action and said he sees the Inspector General from the 
Department of Justice ``working very closely with the FBI Office of 
Professional Responsibility to allocate responsibilities.'' He added, 
``If I were the Attorney General I might have some concern about a 
separate Inspector General feeding the perception that the FBI was a 
separate institution accountable only to itself. And I'm not certain in 
my own mind whether or not what the accountability you seek cannot be 
discharged by an Inspector General with appropriate personnel in the 
Department of Justice, as opposed to establishing another Inspector 
General in the FBI.''
  Senator Durbin asked what steps the nominee would take to ensure that 
there will be a healthy relationship with an Inspector General in the 
management of the FBI. Mr. Mueller replied that the FBI Director should 
meet weekly or every other week ``with the Inspector General to review 
the cases, in the same way that the Attorney General meets with the 
Inspector General.'' Mr. Mueller also stated, ``To the extent that the 
Inspector General in the past was hampered by having to go to the 
Attorney General and specifically requesting authority, that has been 
  Internal investigations must also lead to fair and just discipline. 
Here the recent record is troubling. An internal FBI study that was 
released at the Committee's July hearing found a double standard at 
work, with senior FBI executives receiving a slap on the wrist for the 
same kind of conduct that would result in serious discipline for lower 
level employees. The most vivid example occurred when seven Senior 
Executives submitted false travel vouchers to they could fly to 
Washington for the retirement dinner of a Deputy Director. They 
received only letters of censure for a voucher fraud offense that could 
cost an average Agent his or her career. Two of them actually received 
promotions and cash awards. In another case, the argument was asserted 
within the Justice Department that the FBI Director may not be 
disciplined because he is a Presidential appointee and that, in any 
event, the FBI Director should not be disciplined for exercising poor 
judgment. This argument conflicts with the basic principle that all 
public officials should be held equally accountable.
  In his opening statement, Mr. Mueller said it is ``very important 
that there be no double standards in accountability. I know there have 
been allegations that senior FBI officials are sometimes treated more 
leniently than more junior employees. Any such double standard would be 
fundamentally unfair and enormously destructive to employee morale. If 
anything, senior FBI officials should be held to a higher standard than 
other employees,

[[Page S8686]]

for, after all, they should serve as an example. I commit to this 
committee, to the employees of the FBI, and to the American people that 
there will be no such double standard should I become director of the 

  In response to my questions, Mr. Mueller put even greater emphasis on 
appointing ``leaders in the FBI who are held to a higher standard'' 
because they ``serve as example for others in the FBI.''
  During the confirmation hearings, Committee members raised issues 
regarding the scope and methods of FBI investigations.
  Senator Feingold asked if the nominee was willing to consider 
requiring FBI agents to record interviews electronically, a practice 
consistent with the practice of many law enforcement agencies around 
the country. Mr. Mueller said that he would and that the FBI no longer 
has a ``hard and fast rule'' against it. Interviews may be recorded 
with the approval of the Special Agent in Charge. While working 
homicides in the District of Columbia, Mr. Mueller saw ``the advantage 
of the use of recording interviews.'' However, given the thousands of 
FBI interviews conducted daily including background investigations, he 
thought it would be ``counterproductive to require recording and 
transcribing all such interviews.'' The FBI ``will continue to look at 
it, particularly in an instance where it is important that a confession 
or critical evidence relating to a terrorist attack needs to be 
deciphered accurately with no room for error.''
  Senator Feingold also expressed concern about the FBI's difficulty 
distinguishing between peaceful political dissent and criminal activity 
in the past and possibly in the targeting of Arab Americans today. He 
asked what steps Mr. Mueller would take to ensure that the Bureau does 
not infringe on fundamental First Amendment rights and restricts itself 
to investigating only criminal activity. Mr. Mueller replied that he 
does ``share the concern.'' Citing his experience in criminal 
investigations, he said he ``would insist that whenever we are 
undertaking an investigative enterprise, that there be adequate 
predication for the steps we take to pursue that investigation.'' He 
also said he would address the problems of ``span of control'' and the 
FBI's computer infrastructure in order to ``have transparency of 
information all the way to the top.'' This would ``provide the 
oversight necessary'' to assure that ``predication is being looked at, 
demonstrated, before a particular important investigation is going 
forward or a class of investigation is going forward.''
  Senator Specter raised the issue of FBI agents asking someone who has 
been arrested if they have information about some other person who is a 
public figure, with the suggestion that the case against the individual 
under arrest will go easier if that individual is able to identify 
somebody who is well known. Mr. Mueller responded that ``a general 
targeting, without predication, is anathema to the Bureau, and to the 
extent that any incident such as that comes to the attention of the 
Director, it should be dealt with firmly.''
  Senator Cantwell raised a privacy concerns, which I share, about the 
FBI's Carnivore system, or DCS-1000, and new technologies such as a key 
logger system. Mr. Mueller said he was sensitive to those concerns and 
had talked with a number of privacy groups when he was Acting Deputy 
Attorney General. Asked by Senator Cantwell to review Carnivore, Mr. 
Mueller said the Justice Department is conducting such a review and he 
would look at it when it is completed.
  The Fourth Amendment must be kept up to date in response to new and 
emerging surveillance technologies. This is an issue about which I 
alerted Mr. Mueller that the FBI should anticipate increased oversight 
from the Judiciary Committee and increased concern on both sides of the 
aisle. I asked the nominee to look at the procedures in place for law 
enforcement access to electronic information because so much of it is 
stored in the hands of third parties. Our aim should be to make sure 
that privacy is properly protected in the electronic age, whether it is 
a keystroke, thermal imaging, or dealing with the proliferation of 
small companies that hold our data. Mr. Mueller agreed to do so, 
observing that ``there are issues where there is a law enforcement 
tool, there are privacy interests implicated, and yet one doesn't know 
where the line is.''
  Privacy interests are also implicated by the Attorney General's 
decision to cut-back on the retention of records of gun sales to 
legitimate gun owners. Mr. Mueller initially acknowledged that this 
decision ``could'' subvert the FBI's effort to keep guns out of the 
hands of criminals and go after the bad dealers, but noted that he was 
``not familiar with the debate or what evidence there is, what study 
there has been of the impact of the change, but, yes, it could.'' Mr. 
Mueller accepted my invitation to work with members of the Committee 
and the Attorney General to ensure that the National Incident Criminal 
Background Check System maintains an accurate auditing system, but also 
protects the legitimate rights of gun owners.
  The FBI has long been considered the crown jewel of law enforcement 
agencies. Today, it has lost some of its earlier luster. The next FBI 
Director has both a great challenge and a great opportunity to restore 
public confidence in the Bureau, and the Judiciary Committee stands 
ready to help. The Committee needs to forge a strong and constructive 
oversight partnership with the leadership at the Department of Justice 
and the FBI to shape the reforms and find the solutions to make the FBI 
the premier law enforcement agency that the American people want and 
expect it to be.
  Robert Mueller seems well prepared to meet this challenge and take 
advantage of this opportunity as the next Director of the FBI. With a 
statutory ten-year term, the position of FBI Director is unique in our 
government, and confirmation of a nominee to that position is an 
exceptionally serious responsibility for the Senate.
  With full consciousness of that responsibility, I urge my colleagues 
to confirm the nomination of Robert S. Mueller, III, to be Director of 
the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
  Mr. HATCH. Madam President, I am very pleased that the Senate will 
vote today on the confirmation of three excellent nominees for high 
  The nomination of Robert Mueller to be FBI Director is particularly 
significant. I consider the FBI to be one of the most important 
agencies of the Government, and the post of FBI Director to be one of 
the most consequential in the world. The FBI Director is trusted to 
command huge resources that touch the lives of people around the globe. 
He is charged with protecting the most important resource in America--
our people. And the Director holds a term--10 years--that exceeds that 
of any elected Federal representative. The Director thus has great 
power and great insulation from the popular will--a combination that 
requires this body to be especially vigilant in its confirmation 
review. But after examining Bob Mueller's record, meeting with him 
privately, listening to many people who know him, and questioning him 
at the Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week, I am extremely 
confident that President Bush has chosen the right person for this 
position. Mr. Mueller has the judgment, integrity and dedication to 
purpose that will make him an excellent FBI Director.
  I will mention two things about Mr. Mueller that particularly strike 
me on his long list of professional accomplishments. The first is his 
military record. For his service as a Marine during the Vietnam war, 
Mr. Mueller was awarded the Bronze Star, 2 Navy Commendation Medals, 
the Purple Heart, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. The second 
particularly notable item is that in 1995, after 2 years as a senior 
partner in the distinguished firm of Hale and Dorr, Mr. Mueller left to 
become a regular, line prosecutor in the homicide section of the 
District of Columbia's U.S. Attorney's Office. This was after he had 
served as the head of the Criminal Section in the Department of Justice 
and in other high offices. This speaks volumes about Mr. Mueller's 
character, values, and commitment to public service.

  Of course, Mr. Mueller will need to muster all his skill and 
experience to execute his new assignment. He will step into the FBI at 
a time of some disruption caused by several high-profile 
embarrassments. But he will have the inheritance of former Director 
Louis Freeh's tremendous work, and he will be supported by the Bush 
administration and Attorney General Ashcroft in

[[Page S8687]]

particular. I hope he has support from Congress as well. We should be 
careful to act in ways that encourage positive change at the FBI and 
avoid distracting the bureau from its mission.
  I again applaud President Bush for his choice of Bob Mueller to be 
FBI Director. I have every confidence that he will prove to be an 
excellent leader and a force for positive change at the FBI.
  Madam President, I urge my colleagues to vote to confirm the 
President's nominee, Mr. Mueller.
  Mr. GRASSLEY. Madam President, I rise to support the nomination of 
Robert Mueller to be the Director of the FBI. I also want to thank my 
friend, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, for holding a hearing 
and a committee vote on Mr. Mueller's nomination this soon after 
President Bush's forwarding of Mr. Mueller's nomination to the Senate. 
It is my hope that when we return from summer recess, we will be able 
to keep the same pace with President Bush's many other critical 
  Mr. Mueller will have a big job in front of him as the new Director 
of the FBI. The Bureau is plagued with culture problems which have 
eroded the public's confidence in their ability to effectively 
investigate crime and apprehend criminals. The senior management of the 
FBI has fostered a culture of arrogance that has produced abuse of 
power and coverup. The FBI has been embarrassed time and again by the 
misconduct of its senior management. First there were the tragedies at 
Waco and Ruby Ridge. The FBI retaliated against Dr. Fred Whitehurst 
after he blew the whistle on the FBI crime labs. There was also the 
botched investigation into the Wen Ho Lee matter and the FBI's failure 
to turn over evidence to the defense in the Timothy McVeigh trial.
  As an ardent advocate of FBI reform, what often gets lost in my 
comments is the respect that I have for the thousands of men and women 
serving their country as FBI employees. My criticisms of the FBI's 
management culture should in no way minimize the great sacrifices that 
our honest and hardworking FBI agent and support personnel make every 
day for our country. But these men and women, as well as the American 
people, deserve a law enforcement organization that has integrity and 
credibility. The FBI management system is broken, and this does a real 
disservice to the hardworking agents on the street.
  Mr. Mueller and I met in my office a few weeks ago to discuss this 
culture of arrogance and his plans for reform. In the three short weeks 
since that meeting, the FBI's culture of arrogance has continued to 
raise its ugly head. Just a week after the meeting, the national papers 
were filled with headlines that the FBI couldn't find its guns. The FBI 
has lost or had stolen from them 440 firearms and 171 laptop computers. 
The Inspector General is currently conducting an investigation to 
determine the extent of the damages, but we do know that one of the 
lost guns was used in the commission of a homicide and at least one of 
the laptops contained classified information about two espionage cases.
  A day after that revelation, four senior FBI agents testified before 
the Judiciary Committee that the Bureau has dual standard for the 
disciplining of employees. According to these men, Senior Executive 
Service employees are given slaps on the wrists for their infractions, 
while the rank and file agents are often punished to the letter of the 
  Most recently, last Thrusday, the public saw a good example of how 
some SES employees abuse their power: The Washington Times reported 
that a group of FBI managers staged a conference entitled ``Integrity 
in Law Enforcement'' that we merely a sham and a cover, so that senior 
FBI managers could obtain improper reimbursements for traveling to a 
retirement party for veteran agent Larry Potts. The Washington Times 
further reported that ``no one was disciplined other than to receive 
letters of censure.'' This lack of discipline directly counters the 
letter of the law. In 1994, Director Freeh issued a ``Bright Line'' 
memo dictating that voucher fraud and the making of false statements 
would result in dismissal. Had the rank and file done this, they would 
have been fired.
  These most recent FBI blunders are further eroding public confidence 
that the FBI is up to the task their Nation has called upon them to do.
  But, not all the news is bad. In the weeks since our meeting, the 
Attorney General has issued an order to enlarge the jurisdiction of the 
Department of Justice Office of Inspector General. The Inspector 
General will not have primary jurisdiction over allegations of 
misconduct against employees of the FBI and DEA. This is an important 
and encouraging step toward overall FBI reform. I hope it will help to 
solve the problems that the FBI has with their management culture. 
Previous to this, the Inspector General could not initiate an 
investigation within the FBI or DEA, without expressed permission from 
the Deputy Attorney General. I have been saying for many years that the 
FBI should not be allowed to police itself, and I am encouraged by this 
new step toward the establishment of a free and independent oversight 
entity. Along these same lines, Senator Leahy and I will soon be 
offering a bill to make permanent what the Attorney General's Order 
accomplished regarding oversight of the Bureau and the reporting of 
misconduct by FBI employees. This bill is critical to having lasting 
  In order for a true change in the FBI's management culture to occur, 
there must be vigorous oversight by an independent IG, as well as by 
the Congress. With the Attorney General's order and the work of the 
Senate Judiciary Committee, there will be oversight. But, there must 
also be a strong leader known for honesty and integrity at the helm of 
the Bureau. Mr. Mueller has sterling credentials and a great deal of 
experience. He has also impressed me with his history of reform while 
the U.S. Attorney for San Francisco. A similar overhaul is needed at 
the FBI. However, I'm converned that Mr. Mueller still doesn't fully 
comprehend the culture problems that exist at the FBI. As the new 
Director, he must be committed to fundamentally changing the Bureau's 
management culture.
  That being said, I am suporting Mr. Mueller's nomination. Based on 
this responses to the concerns that I have raised with him, the 
commitments he has made to reform the culture of the FBI, as well as 
the many recommendations he has received in support of this nomination, 
I trust that he will be able to institute the much needed reform of the 
FBI's management culture. I will be voting to confirm Mr. Mueller to be 
director of the FBI.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Pennsylvania.
  Mr. SPECTER. Madam President, I have sought recognition to comment on 
the confirmation of Robert Mueller to be Director of the FBI and to 
comment about the hearings which were very important in establishing 
standards for congressional oversight.
  Mr. Mueller brings outstanding credentials to the position of 
Director of the FBI: an excellent academic background, an excellent 
professional background, served as U.S. attorney in Boston, as U.S. 
attorney in San Francisco, as Assistant Attorney General in charge of 
the Criminal Division, earlier this year was acting Deputy Attorney 
  One of the things he did which I found enormously impressive was 
while in private practice in a very lucrative context, he called up the 
U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia and asked for a job trying 
homicide cases. That was after he had been Assistant Attorney General 
for the Criminal Division. That was his devotion to public service and 
his devotion to law enforcement and his devotion to prosecution.

  I found that unique based on my own experience as an assistant 
district attorney before becoming D.A. of the city of Philadelphia. 
People ask me from time to time what my favorite job was. It is not 
Senator or D.A., but assistant D.A. where you really get into the 
courtroom and try so many cases. He brings an outstanding background to 
this very important and very difficult job.
  Arguably, the Director of the FBI is the most powerful man in 
America. I say that because the Director has a 10-year statutory term. 
The most the President of the United States can serve is two 4-year 
terms for a total of 8 years. What the President does is subject to 
considerable public scrutiny, unlike the record of the FBI where

[[Page S8688]]

most of its work is done on a confidential basis and in secret. So it 
is a very powerful position.
  Mr. Mueller comes to this job with a very troubled Federal Bureau of 
Investigation. Recognizing that and the problems they have had with the 
crime laboratory and the Hanssen case and Waco and Ruby Ridge, they 
have also had tremendous successes. They have had successes on the 
Unibomber, the Trade Center bombings, the Embassy terrorist attacks, 
Khobar Towers, and many successful actions thwarting terrorist attacks 
which are not publicized.
  When a mistake is made by a public official or by an agency like the 
FBI, they are plastered across the front pages. Their successes are not 
noted. Many of them are confidential so their informants and sources 
are not disclosed. While it is a troubled agency, it is still a very 
fine agency. It has performed investigative service for the United 
States. The FBI responsibilities have increased enormously in the last 
few years, fighting organized crime overseas and international 
  I think Director Freeh did as good a job as could be done under very 
difficult circumstances. I analogize Director Freeh to the story of the 
Dutch boy who is trying to keep the water from coming through the dyke. 
He runs around and sticks his finger in the holes of the dyke. No 
matter how many holes he plugs up with his fingers, more water comes 
in. That was a problem Director Freeh had. I think overall he did as 
good a job as could be done under the circumstances.
  Notwithstanding that overall evaluation, I do believe there were very 
serious shortcomings in the responsibility of the FBI and by Director 
Freeh to congressional oversight. I believe the oversight function is 
an enormously important function; Congress has to oversee the way our 
appropriations are spent and oversee the way the executive branch 
functions. We have not done enough in that regard. We did not do the 
oversight necessary in Waco where there was the incident on April 19, 
1993. No one can establish cause and effect, but chances are good that 
had there been effective oversight immediately after the Waco incident, 
that the Oklahoma City bombing would not have occurred 2 years to the 
day on April 19 of April 1995. It took until 1999 with the inquiry by 
former Senator Danforth to do appropriate oversight there.
  This Senator tried hard in mid-1995 to pursue oversight as to Waco 
and as to Ruby Ridge. Finally, we did have hearings on Ruby Ridge. That 
was an example of effective congressional Senate oversight. I had the 
opportunity to chair that subcommittee. It is not just my view but a 
widespread view. Randy Weaver was on the mountain at Ruby Ridge and a 
virtual army went out to bring him off the mountain. The results were 
disastrous. The U.S. Marshal, Marshal Degan, was killed. Randy Weaver's 
wife, Vicki, was killed. Randy Weaver's son, Sammy Weaver, age 14, was 
killed in a gunfire fight.

  The FBI finally conceded they had violated the constitutional 
standards in use of deadly force on their rules of engagement. It took 
a Senate oversight hearing to bring that out and to get that matter 
corrected. Regrettably, to this day, Ruby Ridge was a 1992 incident and 
the Senate Judiciary Committee worked in 1995 and published a report in 
December. To this day, that matter is still under investigation with 
substantial reason to believe there has not been appropriate action 
taken by way of discipline.
  One of the things Mr. Mueller committed to do was to revisit that 
  The oversight function is a matter which our Judiciary Committee has 
not pursued, as I stated. I had the opportunity to chair a subcommittee 
on Department of Justice oversight in 1999 and in the year 2000. In the 
course of that oversight inquiry, when we were investigating campaign 
finance reform and sought to get a report made by Charles Labella, who 
came in as a special assistant. We could never get the report, even 
though the Department of Justice had a duty to provide it to the 
Judiciary Committee on oversight. When we finally issued a subpoena for 
the Labella report in April of the year 2000, we did obtain the report.
  At that time, we obtained another document which classifies as a 
dynamite document which should have been turned over to the FBI long 
before. This is a memorandum dated December 9, 1996. I ask unanimous 
consent the text of this memorandum be printed in the Record at the 
conclusion of my statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit No. 1)
  Mr. SPECTER. This memorandum, dated December 9, 1996, is from 
Director Freeh to one of his top deputies, Mr. Esposito. It relates to 
a conversation which Mr. Esposito had with a top-ranking official in 
the Department of Justice named Lee Radek of the Public Integrity 
  The kernel of the memorandum is contained in paragraph 4 which I will 
now read:

       I also advise the Attorney General of Lee Radek's comment 
     to you that there was a lot of ``pressure'' on him and PIS, 
     Public Integrity Section, regarding this case [and that 
     refers to the Democratic national campaign matter which is 
     the caption of the memorandum] because the ``attorney 
     General's job might hang in the balance'' or words to that 

  Now, this conversation between Mr. Esposito and Mr. Radek occurred in 
December of 1996 at the precise time when President Clinton had not 
stated whether he would reappoint Attorney General Reno. There was an 
enormous furor over the issue of campaign finance irregularities. The 
Governmental Affairs Committee conducted an extensive investigation in 
  Now, had this memorandum been disclosed, as I think it should have 
been, and had the Senate known a top Department of Justice official was 
going easy on this investigation because of protecting the Attorney 
General's job, the demands for independent counsel might have come out 
entirely differently. That was a major matter.
  When I saw this memorandum in December of the year 2000, I told 
Director Freeh I thought he had an absolute duty to have turned over 
this memorandum contemporaneously with the event, and he disagreed, 
saying it would have destroyed his relationship with the Attorney 
General--and his relationship had a lot of problems, in any event. I 
admired Director Freeh for his taking a stand that independent counsel 
should have been appointed, and in many respects he did act in a 
courageous way on that particular subject. But this memorandum was 
dynamite. By the time it came up in the year 2000, it was a cold 
potato, it was an old matter.

  I said to Director Freeh that he must testify about this issue, and 
he said he wouldn't do so. To my chagrin, I could not get a subpoena 
from the Judiciary Committee to compel Director Freeh's attendance and 
  We did bring in Mr. Esposito and we did bring in Mr. Radek, put them 
both under oath and had them testify, and they told contradictory 
versions. Mr. Radek said, well, he had made a comment about pressure 
and he had made a comment about the Attorney General's job hanging in 
the balance, but there was no connection between the two. That is set 
out fully in the record and can be reviewed by anyone who cares to do 
so, to evaluate the credibility of Mr. Radek in saying that--although 
he had said there was a lot of pressure and he said the Attorney 
General's job hung in the balance, that there was no connection between 
the two.
  When Attorney General Reno testified 3\1/2\ years after the fact, she 
said she didn't recall any such conversation with FBI Director Freeh 
but if it had occurred, she was sure she would have taken some action. 
But, as I say, at that point it was totally stale, not subject to any 
real investigation or congressional oversight on that point.
  Before the confirmation hearing with Mr. Mueller, I met with him for 
the better part of an hour in my office and went over that memorandum 
and other matters about which I had questioned him. During the course 
of his testimony on Monday, 3 days ago, when I asked him if that was 
the kind of a memorandum which ought to have been disclosed, he was 
equivocal. He was equivocal about a number of other matters. At the 
suggestion of the chairman that Bob Mueller and Arlen Specter sit down, 
we did Tuesday morning in my office for the better part of an hour. And 
when he resumed his testimony on Tuesday, he said that that memorandum 
from Director Freeh should have been made a part of the record, that 
that was appropriate congressional oversight and it should have

[[Page S8689]]

been disclosed. I consider that important because we really have to 
establish standards as to what Mr. Mueller will do as FBI Director and 
what is appropriate congressional oversight.
  Another matter that I had discussed informally with Mr. Mueller 
before the confirmation hearing, and then questioned him about during 
the confirmation hearing, was the issue of the obligation of the FBI, 
of the Department of Justice, to submit to congressional oversight on 
pending criminal investigations and on pending criminal prosecutions. I 
cited to Mr. Mueller a summary of the law which appeared in 
Congressional Research.
  During the course of my questioning of Mr. Mueller on Monday 
afternoon of this week, I had asked him about his recognition of the 
authority of Congress to have the last word on oversight, and to have 
access to pending FBI investigations and pending FBI prosecutions. At 
that time, I read to him extracts from the Congressional Research 
Service which summarized the law on the subject in a publication dated 
April 7, 1995, as follows:

       . . . a review of congressional investigations that have 
     implicated the Department of Justice or the Department of 
     Justice investigations over the past 70 years, from the 
     Palmer Raids and Teapot Dome to Watergate and through Iran-
     Contra and Rocky Flats, demonstrates that the Department of 
     Justice has been consistently obligated to submit to 
     congressional oversight regardless of whether litigation is 
     pending so that Congress is not delayed unduly in 
     investigating misfeasance, malfeasance, or maladministration 
     in the Department of Justice or elsewhere.
  Skipping some:

       In all instances, investigating committees were provided 
     with documents respecting open or closed cases that included 
     prosecutorial memoranda, FBI investigative reports, summaries 
     of FBI interviews memoranda.

  Another facet of the same report:

       In the majority of instances reviewed, the testimony of 
     subordinate Department of Justice employees, such as line 
     attorneys and FBI field agents, was taken formally or 
     informally and included detailed testimony about specific 
     instances of the Department's failure to prosecute alleged 
     meritorious cases.

  In my questioning of Mr. Mueller on Monday afternoon, he was 
equivocal about his recognition of those legal principles. As I say, we 
had a meeting in my office for the better part of an hour Tuesday 
morning at the suggestion of the chairman. During that time, we came to 
a meeting of the minds, as we had on the memorandum of December 9, 
1996, so that when Mr. Mueller testified on Tuesday afternoon, he did 
say that it was appropriate for Congress to inquire as a matter of 
oversight into pending criminal investigations, so that he agreed with 
the language of the Congressional Research Service and did agree that, 
in the final analysis, Congress had the last say as to what was 
appropriate for congressional oversight.
  There was a bit of qualification when he talked about appropriate 
cases. Of course, there has to be responsibility in what the Congress 
asks for. But when the Congress presses it, the law is established that 
if it ends a criminal prosecution because Congress believes the 
oversight is warranted for legislation, then Congress has the paramount 
  I discussed with Mr. Mueller the frustration of congressional 
oversight in the Wen Ho Lee case, which was illustrative of Congress 
really not doing sufficient oversight and the intransigence and 
noncompliance by the Federal authorities.
  The Wen Ho Lee case was a matter under investigation really for 
decades. To this day, we do not know whether Dr. Wen Ho Lee was a major 
spy or was a victim of overreaching by the FBI and the Department of 
  The case came to a head in August of 1997, when FBI Director Freeh 
sent one of his top deputies to talk personally with Attorney General 
Reno to request a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance 
  Attorney General Reno delegated that authority to someone who had no 
experience in the field, and ultimately the warrant was turned down. 
And there was no followup by either Attorney General Reno or FBI 
Director Freeh. That resulted last year in legislation, so that it is 
now a statutory obligation. When the FBI Director makes a request, the 
Attorney General has an obligation to respond in writing, and the FBI 
Director has an obligation to follow up personally.
  The Wen Ho Lee case then languished for 16 months until December of 
1998, when it was reinvigorated because the Cox commission was about to 
come out with a report from the House of Representatives highly 
critical of the Department of Energy and the Department of Justice, 
including the FBI. At that time, Department of Energy Secretary 
Richardson initiated a polygraph of Wen Ho Lee conducted by a private 
agency, which was reported to have cleared Wen Ho Lee of complicity, 
saying he passed the polygraph. It was later held in question and later 
discredited. Meanwhile, Dr. Lee had continuing access to highly 
classified information.
  Finally, the FBI proceeded with a search warrant in April of 1999 and 
then waited until December of 1999 before indicting Wen Ho Lee and 
arresting him. At that time, they manacled him and held him in solitary 
confinement, with no explanation ever forthcoming as to why he could 
stay at large for months and months and months and then be worse than 
public enemy No. 1.
  During that period of time, a Judiciary subcommittee with oversight 
of the Department of Justice was proceeding to try to get records and 
documents and, significantly, without success. Our efforts are 
summarized, and there are many letters, but this one is illustrative, 
dated November 30, from me to Director Freeh saying:

       I am very much concerned about the repetitive problem that 
     the FBI fails to produce records and that they are then 
     discovered at a much later date.
       I know you will recall the incident in September 1997 when 
     the CIA advised the Government Affairs Committee of certain 
     information in FBI files concerning foreign contributions 
     which the FBI had not disclosed.

  That one was a very vituperative hearing where the FBI had not turned 
over the information and the CIA came forward and told us what was in 
the FBI files. Then the FBI belatedly conceded that it was in fact in 
their files.
  My letter to Director Freeh of November 30 goes on:

       By letter dated November 24, 1999, I wrote asking for an 
     explanation about the failure of the FBI to turn over records 
     pursuant to subpoenas in the Ruby Ridge hearings.

  We had no response there.
  Going on:

       With respect to Waco, there has been a series of belated 
     disclosures. Last August, it was disclosed that incendiaries 
     were fired at the compound contrary to Attorney General Janet 
     Reno's previous testimony. Shortly thereafter, the FBI 
     discovered extensive documents in Quantico which had not 
     been previously disclosed. A few days ago, the press 
     reported another incident where the FBI found documents 
     long after they were supposed to have been produced, some 
     four days after Department of Justice attorneys had 
     advised a Federal Judge in Waco that there were no such 
       The Department of Justice has recently advised that 
     Attorney General Reno's testimony before the Judiciary 
     Committee on June 8, 1999 was incomplete because she did not 
     have access to certain FBI records.

  The letter goes on and on.
  I ask unanimous consent, instead of reading it at length, that it be 
printed in the Record at the conclusion of my statement.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  (See exhibit 2.)
  Mr. SPECTER. I am not unaware that this is a somewhat lengthy 
statement, but believe me, it is a short summary of efforts made to 
find out what was going on in the Wen Ho Lee investigation and where we 
were being stonewalled by the FBI. Had we had access to these records 
and had we conducted the oversight, we would have perhaps been able to 
correct some of the serious errors which were in process.
  Another illustrative letter was from me to Director Freeh dated 
January 3, 2000. I will read only one paragraph.

       I am writing to renew my request--which was first made in 
     writing on September 29, 1999--for access to the ten pieces 
     of intelligence information referred to in the July 1999 
     Inspector General's Special Report on the Handling of FBI 
     Intelligence Information. . . .

  Then a note:

       We have been waiting for the 10 pieces of intelligence 
     information for an unreasonably long time.

  Again, I ask unanimous consent that the full text of the letter be 
printed in the Record at the conclusion of my remarks.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

[[Page S8690]]

  (See exhibit 3.)
  Mr. SPECTER. Then the Department of Justice accepted a guilty plea 
from Dr. Wen Ho Lee on 1 count of 59 counts and then was thoroughly 
chastised by the Federal judge for the way they had conducted the 
  Then Dr. Lee was debriefed, and we are still waiting for answers from 
the FBI as to what has occurred in the case going up to August of 2001 
on an oversight which has been in process for years.
  I talk about this at some length because of the importance of the 
Judiciary Committee pursuing this oversight and finding out what is 
going on in the FBI. We have a very significant advance made on a 
recognition by Mr. Mueller, who will be sworn in as Director of the 
FBI, that the Congress has a right to pending FBI investigations and to 
pending FBI prosecutions.
  They can't hide behind the assertion that, well, it is confidential 
and subject to investigation or subject to prosecution.
  The hour is growing late. One other matter I want to put on the 
record at this point is the issue on which I questioned Mr. Mueller 
about the leaks on the alleged investigation into Senator Robert 
Torricelli. As I said to Mr. Mueller at the hearing on Tuesday 
afternoon, the day before yesterday, all I know about that is what I 
read in the newspaper. But I had written to Director Freeh back on June 
8 of this year, saying:

       I am interested to know whether you have initiated any 
     investigation on the leaks which have appeared in the press 
     concerning an alleged investigation of Senator Bob 
     Torricelli; and, if so, what that investigation has 

  As I said Tuesday, and repeat today, I haven't gotten an answer to 
the letter. I asked Mr. Mueller for a commitment that he would 
investigate to see what had happened because of the devastating nature 
of this leak. But this leak is one of many. The papers have been filled 
with stories about Dr. Wen Ho Lee and many other matters. But we have a 
commitment from the Director to respond on the Torricelli matter.
  Briefly, in conclusion--the two most popular words of any speech--I 
comment about the problems in the FBI, but I do acknowledge, as I did 
at the outset, that I believe the FBI is a very important and good 
investigative organization, and that we find the errors, we find the 
difficulties, and they are publicized. But I do believe that the Senate 
is at fault, the Congress is at fault in not pursuing oversight. It is 
a very tough thing to do because you have to make the request 
repeatedly and you have to insist on it and you have to follow up on 
it. When we will have a Director who concedes that Congress is entitled 
to information on pending investigations and pending prosecutions, then 
we know where we ought to head.

                               Exhibit 1

                                                 December 9, 1996.


     To: Mr. Esposito.
     From: Director, FBI.
     Subject: Democratic National Campaign Matter.
       As I related to you this morning, I met with the Attorney 
     General on Friday, 12/6/96, to discuss the above-captioned 
       I stated that DOJ had not yet referred the matter to the 
     FBI to conduct a full, criminal investigation. It was my 
     recommendation that this referral take place as soon as 
       I also told the Attorney General that since she had 
     declined to refer the matter to an Independent Counsel it was 
     my recommendation that she select a first rate DOJ legal team 
     from outside Main Justice to conduct the inquiry. In fact, I 
     said that these prosecutors should be ``junk-yard dogs'' and 
     that in my view, PIS was not capable of conducting the 
     thorough, aggressive kind of investigation which was 
       I also advised the Attorney General of Lee Radek's comment 
     to you that there was a lot of ``pressure'' on him and PIS 
     regarding this case because the ``Attorney General's job 
     might hang in the balance'' (or words to that effect). I 
     stated that those comments would be enough for me to take him 
     and the Criminal Division off the case completely.
       I also stated that it didn't make sense for PIS to call the 
     FBI the ``lead agency'' in this matter while operating a 
     ``task force'' with DOC IGs who were conducting interviews of 
     key witnesses without the knowledge or participation of the 
       I strongly recommended that the FBI and hand-picked DOJ 
     attorneys from outside Main Justice run this case as we would 
     any matter of such importance and complexity.
       We left the conversation on Friday with arrangements to 
     discuss the matter again on Monday. The Attorney General and 
     I spoke today and she asked for a meeting to discuss the 
     ``investigative team'' and hear our recommendations. The 
     meeting is now scheduled for Wednesday, 12/11/96, which you 
     and Bob Litt will also attend.
       I intend to repeat my recommendations from Friday's 
     meeting. We should present all of our recommendations for 
     setting up the investigation--both AUSAs and other resources. 
     You and I should also discuss and consider whether on the 
     basis of all the facts and circumstances--including Huang's 
     recently released letters to the President as well as Radek's 
     comments--whether I should recommend that the Attorney 
     General reconsider referral to an Independent Counsel.
       It was unfortunate that DOJ declined to allow the FBI to 
     play any role in the Independent Counsel referral 
     deliberations. I agree with you that based on the DOJ's 
     experience with the Cisneros matter--which was only referred 
     to an Independent Counsel because the FBI and I intervened 
     directly with the Attorney General--it was decided to exclude 
     us from this decision-making process.
       Nevertheless, based on information recently reviewed from 
     PIS/DOC, we should determine whether or not an Independent 
     Counsel referral should be made at this time. If so, I will 
     make the recommendation to the Attorney General.

                               Exhibit 2

                                                      U.S. Senate,

                                   Committee on the Judiciary,

                                Washington, DC, November 30, 1999.
     Director Louis Freeh,
     Federal Bureau of Investigation,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Director Louis Freeh: I am very much concerned about 
     the repetitive problem that the FBI fails to produce records 
     and that they are then discovered at a much later date.
       I know you will recall the incident in September 1997 when 
     the CIA advised the Governmental Affairs Committee of certain 
     information in FBI files concerning foreign contributions 
     which the FBI had not disclosed.
       By a letter dated November 24, 1999, I wrote asking for an 
     explanation about the failure of the FBI to turn over records 
     pursuant to subpoenas in the Ruby Ridge hearings.
       With respect to Waco, there has been a series of belated 
     disclosures. Last August, it was disclosed that incendiaries 
     had been fired at the compound, contrary to Attorney General 
     Janet Reno's previous testimony. Shortly thereafter, the FBI 
     discovered extensive documents in Quantico which had not been 
     previously disclosed. A few days ago, the press reported 
     another incident where the FBI found documents long after 
     they were supposed to have been produced, some four days 
     after the Department of Justice attorneys had advised a 
     Federal Judge in Waco that there were no such records.
       The Department of Justice has recently advised that 
     Attorney General Reno's testimony before the Judiciary 
     Committee on June 8, 1999 was incomplete because she did not 
     have access to certain FBI records.
       Similarly, Mr. Neil Gallagher has sought to correct his 
     testimony before the Governmental Affairs Committee on June 
     9, 1999 because he was not aware of certain FBI documents 
     when he testified.
       On the eve of our Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Wen Ho 
     Lee on November 3, 1999, we were given important documents at 
     the last minute which have been in the FBI files since 
     December 19, 1997 and December 10, 1998.
       These are only a few of the many instances where documents 
     have been disclosed by the FBI long after they should have 
     been made available. Would you please let me know why so many 
     documents have been produced so late and what procedures you 
     now have or are putting into place to prevent this from 
     happening in the future. As I know you understand, every time 
     we get late disclosures, we have to go back and retrace our 
     inquiries. Of even greater importance is the issue of the 
     reliability of FBI responses to our document requests.
       I would appreciate a response as promptly as possible so 
     that we can proceed.
     Arlen Specter.

                               Exhibit 3

                                                  U.S. Senate,

                                  Washington, DC, January 3, 2000.
     Hon. Louis J. Freeh,
     Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Director Freeh: I am writing to renew my request--
     which was first made in writing on September 29, 1999--for 
     access to the ten pieces of intelligence information referred 
     to in the July 1999 inspector General's Special Report on the 
     Handling of FBI Intelligence Information Related to the 
     Justice Department's Campaign Finance Investigation, and any 
     analysis regarding the validity of such information and its 
     suitability for use in a prosecution or relevance to a plea 
     agreement. These ten pieces of information are covered by the 
     November 17, 1999, resolution of the Judiciary Committee, 
     which authorized a number of subpoenas.
       I would also appreciate your assistance in ensuring that 
     the background check and clearance request for my Chief 
     Counsel, Mr. David Brog, it processed in an expeditious 

[[Page S8691]]

       Both of these matters are important for the Judiciary 
     subcommittee which I chair to be able to conduct its 
     oversight in a prompt and thorough manner.
                                                    Arlen Specter.

  Mr. SESSIONS. Madam President, I served on the subcommittee on 
oversight effort on the FBI and the Department of Justice. I thought if 
the American people had seen that, they would have known that he was 
committed to getting to the truth, as he is always, and that there was, 
indeed, vigorous oversight at least with regard to those aspects of the 
FBI and the Department of Justice.
  Nobody is perfect. Everybody makes mistakes. But it is our duty to 
ask tough questions and insist on excellence. I am a big fan of the 
FBI, but they are not perfect. I am a big fan of the Department of 
Justice, but they are not perfect. Senator Grassley and Senator Specter 
have been tough on them and demanded excellence, and I respect that. I 
think it is very healthy. I believe that Bob Meuller, who I knew at the 
Department of Justice for many years, is a professional's professional, 
who is a tough leader with the kinds of insight into the FBI's 
strengths and weaknesses that would allow him to have a unique 
opportunity to make a positive change.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is, Will the Senate advise and 
consent to the nomination of Robert S. Mueller, III, of California, to 
be Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation? The yeas and nays 
have been ordered. The clerk will call the roll.
  The legislative clerk called the roll.
  Mr. REID. I announce that the Senator from Hawaii (Mr. Inouye) is 
necessarily absent.
  Mr. NICKLES. I announce that the Senator from New Mexico (Mr. 
Domenici) is absent because of a death in family.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Are there any other Senators in the Chamber 
desiring to vote?
  The result was announced--yeas 98, nays 0, as follows:

                        [Rollcall Vote No. 272]


     Nelson (FL)
     Nelson (NE)
     Smith (NH)
     Smith (OR)

                             NOT VOTING--2

  The nomination was confirmed.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I move to reconsider the vote.
  Mr. REID. I move to lay the motion on the table.
  The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Vermont.
  Mr. LEAHY. Madam President, I thank the distinguished majority leader 
and Members on both sides of the aisle for arranging to expedite the 
scheduling of these three votes. As I said to the Senator from Nevada, 
the majority whip, it is extremely important that we were able to move 
especially Bob Mueller as quickly as we did.
  I thank the leadership for making this possible, and I thank all 
Senators on both sides of the aisle for voting for him. It sends a 
strong signal. We have somebody who wants to preserve the very best of 
the FBI and to correct those areas where there are problems. I think he 
can do both. He comes with a strong mandate from the Senate, and that 
will help.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from South Dakota.
  Mr. DASCHLE. Madam President, I compliment the distinguished chairman 
of the Judiciary Committee for his expeditious work on these 
nominations and so many others. We have broken some records. His work 
and determination demonstrate real fairness and ensure these people 
have the opportunity to serve at the earliest possible date. His 
willingness to do that and his desire to work with the leadership are 
very much appreciated. I want to commend him publicly for that.
  Mr. LEAHY. I thank the Senator.