Obama nominates James Comey as new FBI Director

James Comey,a former Bush administration official who once opposed illegal wiretapping,has been nominated by US President Barack Obama as the new head of the FBI amid a national debate over the government’s secret surveillance programme.

Written by Press Trust Of India | Washington | Published:June 23, 2013 2:18 am

James Comey,a former Bush administration official who once opposed illegal wiretapping,has been nominated by US President Barack Obama as the new head of the FBI amid a national debate over the government’s secret surveillance programme.

If confirmed by the Senate,the 52-year-old former hedge fund executive would succeed Robert Mueller and serve a 10-year term.

Comey is best known for his face-off against the White House officials in 2004 over the legality of the eavesdropping programme of the National Security Agency.

He was previously the deputy Attorney General under George W Bush. He refused to sign off on a domestic eavesdropping programme where the National Security Agency wiretapped phone calls without warrants.

Obama,whose own administration is now beset by a stream of disclosures over secret government surveillance,referred to the episode as he nominated Comey to lead the FBI.

In nominating Comey,Obama said the former Justice Department official will help strike a balance between the need for information on terrorist plots and respecting Americans’ privacy.

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