Three days after Director Kelley's appointment, top aides in the Nixon

Administration resigned amid charges of White House efforts to obstruct

justice in the Watergate case. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew resigned in

October, following charges of tax evasion. Then, following impeachment

hearings that were broadcast over television to the American public

throughout 1974, President Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. Vice President

Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as President that same day. In granting an

unconditional pardon to ex-President Nixon one month later, he vowed to heal

the nation.


Director Kelley similarly sought to restore public trust in the FBI and in

law enforcement. He instituted numerous policy changes that targeted the

training and selection of FBI and law enforcement leaders, the procedures of

investigative intelligence collection, and the prioritizing of criminal



In 1974, Kelley instituted Career Review Boards and programs to identify and

train potential managers. For upper management of the entire law enforcement

community, the FBI, in cooperation with the International Association of

Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Chief Administrators, started the

National Executive Institute, which provided high-level executive training

and encouraged future operational cooperation.


Kelley also responded to scrutiny by Congress and the media on whether FBI

methods of collecting intelligence in domestic security and

counterintelligence investigations abridged Constitutional rights.


The FBI had traditionally used its own criteria for intelligence collection,

based on executive orders and blanket authority granted by attorney

generals. After congressional hearings, Attorney General Edward Levi

established finely detailed guidelines for the first time. The guidelines

for FBI foreign counterintelligence investigations went into effect on March

10, 1976, and for domestic security investigations on April 5, 1976. (The

latter were superseded March 21, 1983.)


Kelley's most significant management innovation, however, was implementing

the concept of "Quality over Quantity" investigations. He directed each

field office to set priorities based on the types of cases most important in

its territory and to concentrate resources on those priority matters.

Strengthening the "Quality over Quantity" concept, the FBI as a whole

established three national priorities: foreign counterintelligence,

organized crime, and white-collar crime. To handle the last priority, the

Bureau intensified its recruitment of accountants. It also stepped up its

use of undercover operations in major cases.


During Kelley's tenure as Director, the FBI made a strong effort to develop

an Agent force with more women and one that was more reflective of the

ethnic composition of the United States.




In 1978, Director Kelley resigned and was replaced by former federal Judge

William H. Webster. At the time of his appointment, Webster was serving as

Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. He had previously

been a Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of



In 1982, following an explosion of terrorist incidents worldwide, Webster

made counterterrorism a fourth national priority. He also expanded FBI

efforts in the three others: foreign counterintelligence, organized crime,

and white-collar crime.


The FBI solved so many espionage cases during the mid-1980s that the press

dubbed 1985 "the year of the spy." The most serious espionage damage

uncovered by the FBI was perpetrated by the John Walker spy ring and by

former National Security Agency employee William Pelton.


Throughout the 1980s, the illegal drug trade severely challenged the

resources of American law enforcement. To ease this challenge, in 1982 the

Attorney General gave the FBI concurrent jurisdiction with the Drug

Enforcement Administration (DEA) over narcotics violations in the United

States. The expanded Department of Justice attention to drug crimes resulted

in the confiscation of millions of dollars in controlled substances, the

arrests of major narcotics figures, and the dismantling of important drug

rings. One of the most publicized, dubbed "the Pizza Connection" case,

involved the heroin trade in the United States and Italy. It resulted in 18

convictions, including a former leader of the Sicilian Mafia. Then Assistant

U.S. Attorney Louis J. Freeh, who was to be appointed FBI Director in 1993,

was key to prosecutive successes in the case.


On another front, Webster strengthened the FBI's response to white-collar

crimes. Public corruption was attacked nationwide. Convictions resulting

from FBI investigations included members of Congress (ABSCAM), the judiciary

(GREYLORD), and state legislatures in California and South Carolina. A major

investigation culminating in 1988 unveiled corruption in defense procurement



As the United States faced a financial crisis in the failures of savings and

loan associations during the 1980s, the FBI uncovered instances of fraud

that lay behind many of those failures. It was perhaps the single largest

investigative effort undertaken by the FBI to that date: from investigating

10 bank failures in 1981, it had 282 bank failures under investigation by

February 1987.


In 1984, the FBI acted as lead agency for security of the Los Angeles

Olympics. In the course of its efforts to anticipate and prepare for acts of

terrorism and street crime, it built important bridges of interaction and

cooperation with local, state, and other federal agencies, as well as

agencies of other countries. It also unveiled the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team

as a domestic force capable of responding to complex hostage situations such

as tragically occurred in Munich at the 1972 games.


Perhaps as a result of the Bureau's emphasis on combatting terrorism, such

acts within the United States decreased dramatically during the 1980s. In

1986, Congress had expanded FBI jurisdiction to cover terrorist acts against

U.S. citizens outside the U.S. boundaries.


On May 26, 1987, Judge Webster left the FBI to become Director of the

Central Intelligence Agency. Executive Assistant Director John E. Otto

became Acting Director and served in that position until November 2, 1987.

During his tenure, Acting Director Otto designated drug investigations as

the FBI's fifth national priority.


On November 2, 1987, former federal Judge William Steele Sessions was sworn

in as FBI Director. Prior to his appointment as FBI Director, Sessions

served as the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western

District of Texas. He had previously served as a District Judge and as U.S.

Attorney for that district.


Under Director Sessions, crime prevention efforts, in place since Director

Kelley's tenure, were expanded to include a drug demand reduction program.

FBI offices nationwide began working closely with local school and civic

groups to educate young people to the dangers of drugs. Subsequent

nationwide community outreach efforts under that program evolved and

expanded through such initiatives as the Adopt-A-School/Junior G-Man



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