Comey known for being independent, unafraid
He relentlessly locked horns with Silicon Valley as he sought to convince Apple to unlock a phone used by the perpetrator of a terror attack in California.
Many top US government careers begin in New York, and Comey is no exception — he hails from the Manhattan suburbs.
He cut his teeth as a federal prosecutor in New York and the Washington area.
In 2003, the father-of-five became deputy attorney general. The following year, he faced one of his toughest showdowns, confirming his reputation for being independent and unafraid.
Comey had become acting attorney-general due to the illness of his boss, John Ashcroft.
At Ashcroft’s bedside, the presidential counsel to George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, was trying to persuade him to reauthorise a controversial warrantless eavesdropping programme.
Comey, who was against extending it, later revealed the incident to senators and unleashing a political firestorm. AFP