Senate committee OKs James Comey to head FBI

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The Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to approve the nomination of James Comey to be the next director of the FBI.

If confirmed by the full Senate, Comey will replace outgoing director Robert Mueller, who first took over the bureau in 2001. President Obama appointed Comey to the post last month.

“Few positions have as much impact on our liberty and national security as the Director of the FBI,” committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt, said after the 18-0 vote. “Mr. Comey has had an outstanding career in law enforcement, and if confirmed, I expect he will lead the Bureau with an independent voice. This is a vital national security post, and prompt action has been a priority for the committee.”

Comey gained notoriety for his work in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush, where he served as an assistant attorney general. At one point, he was acting attorney general while John Ashcroft was hospitalized.

He has since worked in the private sector and academia.

Comey is regarded as one of Obama’s least controversial appointments and has gained bipartisan support for his nomination. He is expected to gain confirmation without any major hiccups.

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