Former FBI Director William Sessions dies at age 90
Former FBI Director William Sessions died Friday in San Antonio, Texas, at age 90.
Sessions is believed to have died of natural causes unrelated to the coronavirus, his daughter told several media outlets.
“We honor former #FBI Director William Sessions, who passed away today in San Antonio at the age of 90,” tweeted the FBI’s Seattle branch.
— FBI Seattle (@FBISeattle) June 12, 2020
Sessions was tapped to lead the FBI by former President Reagan and sworn in in 1987. He is credited with revamping the bureau’s technology and modernizing its fingerprint files. He also helped reassign the agency’s focus toward violent crime after the end of the Cold War.
Drawing the ire of some institutionalists, he also staunchly supported affirmative action and worked to diversify the historically white and male-dominated FBI.
Sessions also oversaw some of the FBI’s most controversial moments, including the shooting by an FBI sniper of an unarmed person in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the deadly storming of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco.
Sessions was later fired by former President Clinton in 1993 after Clinton accused him of being a weak administrator and granting too much power to his wife over bureau affairs.
He had initially resisted pressure from Clinton to resign, saying he wanted to prevent the FBI from being politicized. However, he increasingly lost support from within the bureau after a report accused him of using government vehicles for personal trips, not paying taxes on chauffeured travel and using his perch to obtain a deal on his mortgage. He denied all these claims.
After leaving the bureau, Sessions became a member of the American Bar Association and joined several other legal bodies.
Sessions is survived by a daughter and two sons, including former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
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