President Obama today plans to nominate George W. Bush's former No. 2 at the Justice Department, James Comey, to lead the FBI as the agency grapples with privacy debates over a host of recently exposed investigative tactics. Comey is perhaps best known for a remarkable 2004 standoff over a no-warrant wiretapping program at the hospital bed of Attorney General John Ashcroft. Comey rushed to the side of his bedridden boss to physically stop White House officials in their attempt to get an ailing Ashcroft to reauthorize the program.
If confirmed by the Senate—and Republicans have said they see no major obstacles—Comey would serve a 10-year tenure and replace Robert Mueller, who has held the job since the week before the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Mueller is set to resign on Sept. 4 after overseeing the bureau's transformation into one the country's chief weapons against terrorism. Click for more on Comey's background.