WASHINGTON – James B. Comey was confirmed as the seventh director of the
With the 93-1 vote, Sen.
Comey, the former No. 2 official at the
The choice won bipartisan praise, and the
The FBI responded to some of his questions earlier this month, stating in an unclassified letter released by the senator's office that unmanned aerial vehicles were used "in very limited circumstances to conduct surveillance when there is a specific, operational need."
In a second letter released Monday, the FBI told Paul that the agency has used drones for domestic surveillance missions in 10 cases since 2006, including one this year connected to the rescue of a 5-year-old held hostage in an underground bunker in Alabama.
Paul said he continued to have concerns about situations in which the FBI does not seek a warrant before using drones to acquire information. But he dropped his objection just moments before a scheduled vote to overcome the filibuster after acknowledging the administration's eventual cooperation with his requests.
Comey’s earlier tenure as deputy attorney general was highlighted by a dramatic episode in which, while then-Atty. Gen.
Before the vote, Judiciary Committee chairman
Leahy said that while he did not agree with Comey "on all matters," he praised him as having "unwavering integrity and professionalism."
The term of the FBI director is for 10 years.
Monday’s vote was the first of what will likely be several this week on pending executive branch nominations. The Senate is next scheduled to consider a full slate of candidates for the National Labor Relations Board. Senate Majority Leader