HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Who is James Comey?

Fox News contributor: FBI director has so much power now, J. Edgar Hoover would be jealous

 

FBI Director James Comey will enter the House hearing Monday on Russian activities during the presidential election as an imposing figure in many ways -- standing 6-foot-8 and having been at the center of numerous, high-profile criminal probes.

His law-enforcement career began in the late 1980s. His relatively short time as head of the FBI includes his decision in July 2016 to investigate Hillary Clinton’s use of private email servers as secretary of state. The agency concluded the probe roughly three months later without recommending criminal charges, but it was considered a severe blow to Clinton’s ultimately failed White House bid.

Comey, a former registered Republican, was appointed in 2013 by then-President Obama to run the FBI.

As a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in the early 2000s, he prosecuted businesswoman Martha Stewart, who was convicted in 2004 in connection with stock deals and sentenced to five months in prison.

He also helped prosecute the Gambino crime family when he previously worked in that office, from roughly 1987 to 1993.

Comey also supported federal agents who sought felony charges in 2015 against then-CIA Director David Petraeus, related to his mishandling of classified information.

Comey was appointed by the George W. Bush administration to the position of deputy attorney general, responsible for overseeing Justice Department operations. (He has insisted the FBI is apolitical in its investigations.)

He left the Justice Department in 2005 to become a vice president and general counsel for defense contractor Lockheed Martin through 2010. He then joined the Connecticut-based hedge fund Bridgewater Associates before leaving in 2013 to teach at Columbia Law School in New York City.

Comey was born in Yonkers, N.Y., attended the College of William and Mary and earned a law degree from the University of Chicago. He is married with five children.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.