AUSTIN (KXAN) — South by Southwest announced Thursday that FBI Director James Comey will participate in a conversation with Newseum CEO Jeffrey Herbst during the 10-day long festival in March.
“This year we will conduct a unique conversation examining the tensions between privacy and national security,” said Herbst. “Being able to share a high level conversation with FBI Director James Comey and the audience in Austin will help us all understand the challenges to our rights in the age of disruption.”
Over the past year, Comey received criticism from both political parties for his handling of politically sensitive investigations. While there was talk about Comey potentially not keeping his job after President Donald Trump came into office, those questions were answered earlier this week when it was announced that he would stay in his position.
Trump criticized the FBI during his campaign for its decision not to recommend charges against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, over her use of a private email server. He called the bureau’s decision a “horrible mistake.”
FBI directors are appointed to 10-year terms intended to carry across presidential administrations, even when a new party takes over the White House. Comey, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, is in the fourth year of his term and has spoken publicly about his enthusiasm for remaining in the job.
The SXSW session with Comey will take place on Monday, March 13 at 5 p.m. at The Hilton in downtown Austin. SXSW runs from March 10-19 this year.
With additional reporting by Associated Press