James Comey presides over an FBI in revolt over his leadership, a former U.S. attorney tells The American Spectator, and pursues “paranoid, delusional, and vindictive” measures to prevent negative information leaking out to the public.
“I know that inside the FBI there is a revolt,” Joseph diGenova tells The American Spectator. “There is a revolt against the director. The people inside the bureau believe the director is a dirty cop. They believe that he threw the [Hillary Clinton email] case. They do not know what he was promised in return. But the people inside the bureau who were involved in the case and who knew about the case are talking to former FBI people expressing their disgust at the conduct of the director.”
The loss of faith in the bureau chief stems in part from a dishonest rendering of the decision not to indict Mrs. Clinton as unanimous rather than unilateral and in part from the bureau’s decision to destroy evidence in the case and grant blanket immunity to Clinton underlings for no possible prosecutorial purpose.
“There is a consensus among the employees that the director has lost all credibility and that he cannot lead the bureau,” diGenova explains. “They are comparing him to L. Patrick Gray, the disgraced former FBI director who threw Watergate papers into the Potomac River. The resistance to the director has made the agency incapable of action. It has been described to me as a depression within the agency unlike anything that anyone has ever seen within the bureau. The director’s public explanation for the unorthodox investigation are viewed by people in the bureau as sophomoric and embarrassing.”
Comey maintained in July that he came to the decision to recommend not indicting Clinton for the inclusion of classified material in 110 emails stored on a private server based on an “entirely apolitical and professional” investigation despite conceding that others in a similar spot would face “consequences” and that “evidence of potential violations” existed. He insisted then, “No outside influence of any kind was brought to bear.”
But agents trained to sniff out malfeasance smell something rotten here.
“When the director said that it was a unanimous decision not to recommend prosecution, that was a lie,” diGenova points out. “In fact, the people involved in the case were outraged at his decision, which he made by himself. When people realized that he was lying publicly about their role and when they knew he had approved of the destruction of laptops that were subject to congressional subpoena, that flipped the switch.”
Critics of the FBI and the broader handling of the case by the Justice Department remain skeptical over investigators’ ostensible belief in Clinton’s claim that she “lost” 13 Blackberry devices and did not understand that documents marked “C” meant confidential. Decisions to grant Clinton aide Cheryl Mills attorney-client privilege in a case involving her, to destroy her laptop and with it any evidence desired by Congress, and to limit the investigation’s search to documents from before January 31, 2015 to obstruct any possible obstruction of justice case against Mills also similarly baffled. Direct evidence of Clinton hiding public business on a private server (and thereby making it easier for enemy governments to see what the American government could not) and “bleaching” her hard drive after the story became public presented the FBI clear evidence of wrongdoing. But authorities sought to protect rather than prosecute the malefactors.
“The director’s public explanation for the unorthodox investigation are viewed by people in the bureau as sophomoric and embarrassing,” diGenova notes. “The people in the bureau anticipate that there will be subpoenas for their testimony. Comey in a telephone conference with special agents in charge around the country, within the last few days, warned that if they received a phone inquiry about the investigation, or any inquiry about the investigation, they were ordered to report the call and the caller to the director’s office.”
DiGenova describes such control tactics as something out of J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI. Yet, it’s Hoover’s successor, L. Patrick Gray, who offers the clearest parallel to Comey. As diGenova puts it, “There is a Deep Throat.”
Agents involved in the case now fear congressional subpoenas thanks to Comey’s head-scratching handling of the case. DiGenova met this week with figures requesting attorneys for FBI officials. The former independent counsel and U.S. attorney affirms his willingness to serve in that capacity and to represent potential whistleblowers.
“These people are trained to be loyal, honest, and forthright,” diGenova points out. “What [Comey] did was force them to corrupt their oath of office. They have had enough.”