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Senate hearing set July 30 for FBI choice Mueller

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Robert Mueller's nomination to lead the FBI formally went to the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, and the panel promptly set a confirmation hearing for July 30.

Mueller appears to enjoy support from both Democrats and Republicans. He met privately on Capitol Hill with some members of the committee Wednesday.

Mueller, a veteran federal prosecutor, is President Bush's choice to succeed Louis Freeh, who retired as director last month. Justice Department officials said Mueller hopes to testify at his confirmation hearing before he undergoes surgery for prostate cancer.

Officials will not say when or where Mueller will undergo surgery and continue to describe the cancer as "localized" and "treatable."

Ashcroft concerned about missing FBI weapons, computers  

The results of his FBI background check were not expected to arrive on Capitol Hill until Thursday morning, but most other documents have been received, a committee statement said.

As a prosecutor, Mueller served under and then succeeded William Weld as U.S. attorney in Boston. While there, he directed massive investigations into former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, the Pan Am 103 bombing and the Bank Credit and Commerce International case.

He won Attorney General John Ashcroft's confidence when he served as acting deputy attorney general while Larry Thompson awaited confirmation as Bush's choice for the job.

Mueller's confirmation schedule appears to dim Justice Department hopes the nomination could win Senate approval before the lawmakers leave for their summer recess.

Ashcroft said he would meet with Mueller on a trip Friday to San Francisco where Mueller is U.S. attorney for northern California.

Mueller is expected to join Ashcroft for a tour the same day of an unidentified Silicon Valley firm where the attorney general is scheduled to announce an electronic crime initiative.

• Federal Bureau of Investigation
• U.S. Department of Justice
• U.S. Congress
• Senate Judiciary Committee

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