President Trump will nominate former Justice Department official Christopher Wray to replace James Comey as the new FBI director.
Comey was abruptly fired in May 2017 in the middle of an investigation into possible collusion between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
But just what is the process of selecting a new FBI director?
The FBI director is appointed by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate, according to the FBI's website. The best way for Americans to influence the selection of an FBI director is through their votes for the President and Senators since they are the ones responsible for electing FBI directors and other government agency officials.
According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the vetting process for nominees includes an FBI background check and financial disclosure.
In 1976, Congress passed a law limiting the FBI director to a single term no longer than 10 years. This applies even if the FBI director serves through different administrations. The President does have the power to fire an FBI director, as Trump did, under serious allegations.
The current procedure for hiring an FBI director has been used since the death of J. Edgar Hoover in 1972, who served for 48 years, according to the CRS. However, an extended term beyond the 10 years is allowed if the President and Congress agree on it. President Obama signed an extension for Robert S. Mueller in 2011, making him the only FBI director granted an extension since the limit was set.
Comey is the only the second FBI director to be fired by the President since 1972.
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