James Comey will likely become the next FBI director, although Senator Rand Paul has said he might draw the issue out over current director Robert Mueller's refusal to respond to the Senator's inquiry about domestic drone use.
Who is James Comey? He's been lauded by progressives for his now famous hospital stand, about which writes Salon:
The call came at 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, 2004. Attorney General John Ashcroft was in the hospital, struck with a life-threatening case of pancreatitis. Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey was just leaving his office, being chauffeured by his security detail.“I remember exactly where I was, on Constitution Avenue,” Comey testified Tuesday morning before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “And [I] got a call from Attorney General Ashcroft’s chief of staff telling me that he had gotten a call.”So begins a remarkable tale that nearly led to the resignation of the Justice Department’s senior leadership, an ordeal that was recounted in great detail for the first time Tuesday. Two senior White House officials, Andrew Card and Alberto Gonzales, were headed to Ashcroft’s hospital bed, despite the instructions of his wife that there would be no phone calls or visitors. They wanted Ashcroft to sign off on the secret National Security Agency wiretapping program, a program that Ashcroft had already decided to reject before falling ill.Comey was determined to stop them. “So I hung up the phone,” Comey told the committee, and I “immediately called my chief of staff, told him to get as many of my people as possible to the hospital immediately. I hung up, called [FBI] Director [Robert] Mueller and — with whom I’d been discussing this particular matter and had been a great help to me over that week — and told him what was happening. He said, ‘I’ll meet you at the hospital right now.’ [I] told my security detail that I needed to get to George Washington Hospital immediately. They turned on the emergency equipment and drove very quickly to the hospital. I got out of the car and ran up — literally ran up the stairs with my security detail.”
While, to his credit, he immediately began raising concerns [with warrantless wiretapping], the program was still in existence when the New York Times exposed it in December 2005. This was a year and a half after Comey's hospital showdown with Gonzales and Card. In fact, the warrantless wiretapping program was supported by a May 2004 legal opinion  produced by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel and signed off by Comey, which replaced the 2001 legal opinion Comey had problems with.This, of course, raises the question: just what illegal surveillance program did Comey oppose so much he would resign over it? Last weekend, the Washington Post provided a new theory: the Marina program, which collects internet metadata.