Comey, the president's choice to succeed Robert Mueller, already enjoys an outstanding reputation for integrity in Washington for his role in persuading then-Attorney General John Ashcroft in 2004 not to continue the Bush administration's domestic-surveillance program. Comey served as the deputy attorney general at the time—and threatened to resign rather than sign off on recertifying the National Security Agency program. "To know Jim Comey is also to know his fierce independence and his deep integrity," Obama said while introducing Comey as his nominee to head the FBI. "He was prepared to give up a job he loved rather than be part of something he felt was fundamentally wrong." Until then, Comey was a career prosecutor who had made his name in organized-crime prosecutions in Manhattan and terrorism cases such as the bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. While serving as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, he led the prosecution against Martha Stewart for lying to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Comey, 52, left the Justice Department in 2005 to become general counsel of Lockheed Martin and later joined an investment firm. He has also taught national security law at Columbia University. He received his undergraduate degree from the College of William & Mary and got his law degree from the University of Chicago.