Obama: Americans can trust FBI director to balance laws and liberty

Americans can trust the FBI's new director to balance law enforcement against civil liberties, President Barack Obama said Monday.


The president’s comments about James Comey, the new director of the nation’s top law enforcement agency, came at the formal installation ceremony for Comey at FBI headquarters.

Obama lauded Comey, a former Justice Department official during the Bush administration, amid mounting scrutiny of the federal government's far-reaching law enforcement practices, specifically to counter terror threats.

"Jim has dedicated his life to defending our laws, making sure that all Americans can trust our justice system to protect their rights and their well-being," Obama said.

"I interviewed a number of extraordinary candidates for this job, all with sterling credentials," Obama added later in his remarks. "But made me confident that this was the right man for the job ... was talking to him and seeing his amazing family. I sensed that this is somebody who knows what's right and what's wrong."

The president further pledged to FBI employees, some 3,500 of whom gathered at the bureau's headquarters for the ceremony, to fight to improve the agency's funding and restore some of the automatic spending cuts as a result of sequestration.

"I'll keep fighting for those resources, because our country asks and expects a lot from you and we should make sure that you have the resources you need to do the job," Obama said.