Is the FBI director independent of the White House? Only in a manner of speaking. Successful directors are not tools of the president, and they understand that the FBI functions best when it maintains its distance from politics. Wise presidents understand the awful optics of meddling in law enforcement decisions and thus make no move to politicize the FBI. In the end, though, the FBI director serves at the president’s pleasure.
Aditya Bamzai & Saikrishna Prakash, The Somewhat Independent FBI Director, LA Times A15 (2016).