WESTPORT, Conn. -- President Barack Obama nominated Westport resident James Comey, a native of Yonkers, N.Y., to be the next director of the FBI in an announcement Friday in the Rose Garden at the White House.
Comey, 52, would replace Robert Mueller, who has led the FBI for 12 years. The Senate must confirm Comey's nomination.
Obama praised Mueller's service and said, "We have the perfect person to carry on this work in Jim Comey -- a man who stands very tall for justice and the rule of law. ...
"The grandson of a patrolman who worked his way up to lead the Yonkers Police Department, Jim has law enforcement in his blood," Obama said. "Jim is exceptionally qualified to handle the full range of challenges faced by today’s FBI -- from traditional threats like violent and organized crime, to protecting civil rights and children from exploitation, to meeting transnational challenges like terrorism and cyber threats."
The president also described how Comey and his brother were crime victims as children.
"They were at home and an intruder broke in and held them at gunpoint. So Jim understands, deeply, in his core, the anguish of victims of crime, what they go through, and he’s made it his life’s work to spare others that pain," Obama said.
Comey thanked Obama for the honor and opportunity to serve in the FBI. "I'm not sure I have the words to describe how excited I am to return to the Department of Justice, and especially to get to work again with the people of the FBI. They are men and women who have devoted their lives to serving and protecting others, and I simply can't wait to be their colleague again."
Mueller praised his successor. "His experience, his judgment, and his strong sense of duty will benefit not only the Bureau, but the country as a whole."
Comey, a Republican, served as deputy attorney general from December 2003 through August 2005 under former President George W. Bush. He was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York before that.
From 2005 to 2010, he worked as general counsel at Lockheed Martin Corp.
In 2010, Comey became general counsel of the Westport-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. Earlier this year, he left Bridgewater to become senior research scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security at Columbia University Law School in New York.
For Obama's full remarks, watch the video above or read the transcript on the official White House website here .
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