During a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Democrat Herb Kohl urged F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller to reverse the pending closures of three field offices in Wisconsin.
Senator Kohl said the shutdowns seem to contradict Mueller’s philosophy of the F.B.I. needing to “maintain close contact” with law enforcement. Kohl questioned how moving the federal agents, hours from large cities like Wausau and La Crosse, would benefit that relationship.
Mueller responded their plan to close 26 offices nationwide is based on analyzing threats within each region.
The F.B.I. head says there will still be the same number of agents just in different locations. “My hope and expectation is that we’ll provide exactly the same degree of service as we had before.” He explained that it’s costly to maintain an office which houses classified information.
Mueller has already signed off on the closures but told Kohl he’s “always open to additional arguments.”
The La Crosse, Wausau and Kenosha field offices – encompassing the Western District of Wisconsin- would be consolidated into branches in Eau Claire and Madison.
AUDIO: Brian Moon reports (1:15)