President Obama is planning to name James B. Comey, a former high-level Department of Justice official under President George W. Bush’s administration, as the new director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The choice is evidence of Obama’s attempt to walk the tightrope between party lines—Comey is a Republican, but during his tenure in the Bush administration, he refused to approve a surveillance program for eavesdropping without warrants in a dramatic episode, a stance which will likely please many Democrats.

Robert S. Mueller III, the FBI’s current director, must leave his post by the beginning of September. While it’s not yet clear when Obama will announce Comey’s nomination, the New York Times reports that if he doesn’t announce it by early June, it will be difficult to get confirmation by the time Mueller steps down.


For more InsideCounsel coverage of the FBI, see below:

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