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Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Comey, the No. 2 person in the Department of Justice under AG Alberto Gonzales, will return to the private sector later this year. The DOJ announced Comey’s resignation Wednesday afternoon. Comey has not yet found a new job, according to a DOJ source, because to even look for something new could be perceived as unethical. Even so, Comey, like other successful prosecutors, should have no trouble landing a good gig. He briefly worked at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher after graduating from law school and also was a partner at McGuireWoods in Richmond, Va., from 1993 to 1996. But Comey has spent most of his career as a federal prosecutor, culminating in his appointment in 2002 to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. There he directed several high-profile securities and fraud investigations, including WorldCom, Adelphia and ImClone. President Bush nominated him to be deputy AG in December 2003. He was rumored to be a candidate for attorney general after his boss, John Ashcroft, stepped down. But his chances weren’t good from the start. Some of the president’s top advisers felt he was insensitive to political concerns, according to a story in Legal Times, a Recorder affiliate. Among other tensions, Comey pushed for the DOJ to release so-called torture memos to the media and for controversial legal analyses regarding the use of torture to be rewritten. He also appointed a special prosecutor to take over the investigation into whether a White House official leaked a Central Intelligence Agency operative’s name to the media. When asked about the CIA leak investigation during his Senate confirmation hearing, Comey said: “I don’t care about politics. I don’t care about expediency. I care about doing the right thing.”

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