Washington: President Barack Obama plans to nominate James Comey, a former hedge fund executive who served as No. 2 in Justice Department under President George W Bush, to replace Robert Mueller as FBI director.
Comey, 52, was at the center of some of the most bruising debates over counterterrorism during the Bush administration and established a reputation as a fierce defender of the law and the integrity of the Justice Department regardless of the political pressures of the moment, the Washington Post said in a report.
The expected nomination of Comey, a Republican, was seen in some quarters as a bipartisan move by a president besieged by Republicans in Congress.
However, Chuck Hagel`s prior service as a Republican senator from Nebraska did not spare him from his nomination battle for secretary of defence.
Mueller has served 12 years as FBI director, a period of enormous transformation for the bureau in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the report said.
The director`s term is limited by law to 10 years, but Congress unanimously approved Obama`s request in 2011 that Mueller be granted another two years.
The report said that the White House had narrowed the search in recent days to Comey and Lisa Monaco, a former assistant attorney general for national security who became Obama`s chief counterterrorism advisor this year.
The role of FBI is critical to country security aspect and had come under the scanner over the recent Boston Marathon bombings.