The NY Times tells us that James B. Comey, a "former Bush official", will be nominated to lead the FBI:
By choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty winning confirmation of some important nominees.
They include this bit of near-history:
At the same time, Mr. Comey’s role in one of the most dramatic episodes of the Bush administration — in which he refused to acquiesce to White House aides and reauthorize a program for eavesdropping without warrants when he was serving as acting attorney general — should make him an acceptable choice to Democrats.
In the 2004 episode that defined Mr. Comey’s time in the Bush administration, the White House counsel, Alberto R. Gonzales, and Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., sought to persuade Attorney General John Ashcroft — who was hospitalized and disoriented — to reauthorize the administration’s controversial eavesdropping program.
Mr. Comey, who was serving as the acting attorney general and had been tipped off that Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Card were trying to go around him, rushed to Mr. Ashcroft’s hospital room to thwart them. With Mr. Comey as well as Mr. Mueller in the room, Mr. Ashcroft refused to reauthorize the program. Mr. Bush later agreed to make changes in the program, and Mr. Comey was widely praised for putting the law over politics.
He surely was so praised. The WaPo skates a bit closer to what I think is the truth:
Comey was famously involved in a 2004 hospital-room confrontation with White House counsel Alberto Gonzales and the president’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr. The two White House officials were attempting to persuade Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, who was recovering from emergency surgery to remove his gallbladder, to reauthorize a controversial warrantless domestic eavesdropping program.
Comey’s objection to the warrantless wiretapping — he told Congress that he would have resigned had the technique continued — was not his only brush with Bush-era policies. He also opposed the approval of enhanced interrogation techniques by the CIA. He said at the time that the Justice Department would eventually be ashamed of its legal backing when the world learned about the methods, which included waterboarding.
"Bush-era"? Many would describe that as "Cheney-era". One more dot to connect:
Comey later came under criticism from some Bush administration officials for his role in selecting Patrick Fitzgerald to lead the special investigation into the leaking of the name of CIA officer Valerie Plame, a probe that led to the conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney’s adviser Scooter Libby.
Which leads to my perspective - a Republican group was pushing back on a number of fronts against Dick Cheney's aggressive view of Executive power and the best way to fight the war on terror. Warrantless surveillance and enhanced interrogation were two disputed areas. The Plame "investigation" was never a serious attempt to find out who may have leaked information about Valerie Plame (hence the cursory non-investigation of Armitage and Powell at State and the utter pass given to NBC's Russert, Mitchell and Gregory) - the focus was on bringing down Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney.
Just to review the timing - Jack Goldsmith took over the Office of Legal Counsel in October 2003 and promptly raised questions about enhanced interrogation and warrantless wiretapping. He tried without success during the fall of 2003 to get James Comey, then a Deputy AG, read into the surveillance program. On Dec 30, 2003 Ashcroft recuses himself from,the Plame investigation and Comey appoints Special Counsel Fitzgerald. A month later, Comey was read into the surveillance program, and by March we had the famous hospital showdown.
Cheney had made a lot of enemies, not all of whom were on Team Blue.