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Public Statements

Nomination of James B. Comey

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I am pleased that the Senate today confirmed James B. Comey as the Deputy Attorney General. James Comey brings a wealth of experience and perspective as a line prosecutor, as a manager in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, and most recently as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. His record demonstrates that he is a leader, one who can inspire others to accomplish great things, and one who can oversee and manage an organization such as the Justice Department.

With the recent departure of Larry Thompson, who was a fine Deputy Attorney General, I am sure everyone shares my view that Mr. Comey has very big shoes to fill. However, I am confident that he is the right person for the job. His impressive background and past government service make me confident that he will be a great asset to the Department of Justice, the Judiciary Committee, and the American people.

The importance of the Deputy Attorney General within the Justice Department cannot be overstated. Over the years, the Deputy Attorney General's Office has played a greater role in overseeing the Department's operations, implementing new policy initiatives, and ensuring the effective enforcement of our criminal and civil laws.

A review of Mr. Comey's record establishes one simple fact-he is well qualified to serve as the Deputy Attorney General. Since January 2002, Mr. Comey has served as the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, an office that many consider to be the premier U.S. Attorney's Office in the country. In the Southern District of New York, Mr. Comey has earned the respect of judges, defense counsel, and prosecutors for his professionalism, fairness and judgment. While serving as the U.S. attorney, Mr. Comey was responsible for leading his office in some of the more significant terrorism and white collar prosecutions.

Prior to assuming the position as the U.S. attorney, Mr. Comey served from 1996 to 2001, as managing assistant U.S. attorney, in charge of the Richmond Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. From 1993 to 1996, Mr. Comey was an associate and later a partner at the law firm of McGuire Woods in Richmond, VA. Early in his career, from 1987 to 1993, Mr. Comey served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York.

As a Federal prosecutor, Mr. Comey investigated and prosecuted a wide variety of cases, including firearms, narcotics, major frauds, violent crime, public corruption, terrorism, and organized crime. In the Eastern District of Virginia, he handled the Khobar Towers terrorist bombing case, arising out of the June 1996 attack of a U.S. military facility in Saudi Arabia in which 19 airmen were killed.

Mr. Comey was educated at William & Mary, B.S. with honors 1982, chemistry and religion majors, and the University of Chicago Law School, J.D. 1985. After law school, he clerked for then-U.S. District Judge John Walker in Manhattan.

Let me take one moment to highlight perhaps Mr. Comey's most important accomplishment. While serving his country in a variety of prosecutorial positions, he has demonstrated that he is a dedicated family man. He and his lovely wife, Patrice, are raising five wonderful children, ranging in age from 15 to as young as 3 years old.

Mr. Comey is a dedicated public servant, and a talented and well-respected prosecutor. He is uniquely qualified to lead as the Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department.

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