Senate confirms James Comey as FBI director

James Comey Jr., nominee to be director of the FBI, testifies during his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill July 9, 2013 in Washington, D.C. Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Updated 8:25 p.m. ET

The Senate has overwhelmingly confirmed James Comey to become FBI director after Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., ended delaying tactics against the nomination because of concerns about the domestic use of drones.

Monday's 93-1 vote put Comey in line to succeed Robert Mueller, who is stepping down in September after 12 years heading the agency. Paul was the only no vote.

Comey was the Justice Department's No. 2 official under President George W. Bush. He gained attention in 2004, when he defied top Bush White House officials who wanted Justice to renew a program that allowed eavesdropping without warrants of domestic phone calls and emails.

Paul had been blocking a vote on Comey.

He abruptly ended his delays after saying he'd received an FBI letter that answered his questions.

"The FBI today responded to my questions on domestic use of surveillance drones by saying that they don't necessarily need a warrant to deploy this technology," Paul said in a statement.

"I disagree with this interpretation. However, given the fact that they did respond to my concerns over drone use on U.S. soil, I have decided to release my hold on the pending FBI director nominee," said Paul.

In a written statement, President Obama said, "I applaud the overwhelming, bipartisan majority of Senators who today confirmed Jim Comey to be the next director of the FBI.

"Jim is a natural leader of unquestioned integrity. In the face of ever-changing threats, he has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to defending America's security and ideals alike. With Jim at the Bureau's helm, I know that the FBI will be in good hands long after I've left office."

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