Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is pushing the Obama Administration to select the New York City police commissioner as the replacement for outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.
Schumer said New York Police commissioner Raymond Kelly would be a “world-class choice” to succeed Mueller, who is set to retire in September. The Democratic senator said he will actively press the Barack Obama administration to make Kelly its nominee for the 10-year term as the leader of FBI.
“He’s the preeminent law enforcement person in the country,” Schumer told the newspaper. “He knows more about this than anyone.”
Kelly, who has spent more than three decades at the New York Police Department, is serving his second stint as New York Police commissioner, which began in 2002. He first held the post from 1992 to 1994.
Schumer praised Kelly for his efforts to fight terrorism. The New York Police commissioner was mentioned as a frontrunner for FBI Director in the 1990s after his response to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to the Daily News.
Kelly also has experience in the federal government, serving as Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service from 1998 to 2001 and Under Secretary for Enforcement at the Treasury Department from 1996 to 1998. At the Treasury Department, he oversaw the then-Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Secret Service, Customs Service, Office of Foreign Assets Control, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.
However, others anticipate problems with Schumer’s efforts, including Kelly’s age and his relationship with the FBI, according to Allan Lengel of Ticklethewire.com.
“He’s 69, which would make him 79 at the end of his term,” Lengel wrote on his blog. “Some think that’s too old.”
He added: “Plus, he’s not exactly beloved at the FBI. He’s butted heads with the agency over the years.
John Pistole, who was the second in command at the FBI, and U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of the Northern District of Illinois also have been mentioned as successors to Mueller, according to Lengel.
Pistole departed from the bureau last year to become the leader of the Transportation Security Administration. Fitzgerald has been the U.S. Attorney in Chicago since 2001.