Louis Freeh

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Louis Joseph Freeh (born January 6, 1950) was nominated by President Clinton to be the Director of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The United States Senate confirmed him on August 6, 1993 and he served as FBI director from September 1, 1993 until he resigned on June 25, 2001 just short of the official end of his 10-year term. During his time as Director the bureau was involved in investigating a number of high-profile cases including:

He took over an agency suffering from public criticism and was a strong proponent of the view that the FBI must itself obey the law and respect constitutional rights. He was criticized by civil libertarians for his staunch support of the Clipper Chip and restrictions on public access to encryption. He received praise for his principled call for independent investigation of Clinton administration fundraising practices. He resigned amid criticism that the FBI needed stronger leadership - particularly after allegations of spying by Robert Hanssen. It was also reported that with 6 kids he was dissatisfied with the salary (US$141,300/yr) he received while working for the government.

Freeh was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and received a bachelors degree from Rutgers University in 1971.

Freeh is now senior vice chairman and general counsel at MBNA, an issuer of credit cards.

Quotes

"We are potentially the most dangerous agency in the country." —FBI Director Louis Freeh, to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, 1997.

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