Tuesday, February 06, 2018

FBI Messages Show Bureau's Reaction to Comey Firing

Lawfare: We received 103 pages of records (from four FOIA requests) ... messages from FBI leadership around the country and across the bureau regarding the firing of Director James Comey. The bureau identified 116 pages of responsive material and withheld only 13 pages, so this material constitutes the overwhelming bulk of communications to staff on the subject of the firing. What does it show? Simply put, it shows ... a reaction of "shock" and "profound sadness" at the removal of a beloved figure to whom the workforce was deeply attached. It also shows that no aspect of the White House's statements about the bureau were accurate -- and, indeed, that the White House engendered at least some resentment among the rank and file for whom it purported to speak. As Amy Hess, the special agent in charge in Louisville, put it: "On a personal note, I vehemently disagree with any negative assertions about the credibility of this institution or the people herein."

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Before detailing the story these documents tell, let's pause a moment over the story they do not tell. They contain not a word that supports the notion that the FBI was in turmoil. They contain not a word that reflects gratitude to the president for removing a nut job. There is literally not a single sentence in any of these communications that reflects criticism of Comey's leadership of the FBI. Not one special agent in charge describes Comey's removal as some kind of opportunity for new leadership. And if any FBI official really got on the phone with White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to express gratitude or thanks "for the president's decision," nobody reported that to his or her staff.

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Here at Lawfare, Nora Ellingsen -- who served as a counterterrorism analyst at the FBI for several years -- talked with roughly 20 of her former colleagues. She characterized the opinion of Comey among the FBI's rank and file as almost universally positive. "Nearly everyone loved him," she wrote, and the "degree of consensus on this point ... has been incredible." She went on: "All of the people I talked to described having the same reaction when they heard that the director had been fired: complete shock, followed by deep sadness."

The president of the FBI Agents Association, Thomas O'Connor, called Comey's firing a "gut punch."

Resolving the inconsistency between the White House statements and accounts from within the bureau seemed like a good job for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). When the head of an agency is abruptly fired, managers have to inform their teams, and those messages can speak volumes about the mood at the agency.

I truly stand amazed how otherwise observant and normally sane, rational and intelligent people cannot see that these actions are those of criminals trying to cover for their own actions and activities. While some clamor for White House perp walks, that really has not been the dominant thought here. It's simply let our competent and qualified federal law enforcement apparatus investigate and then reach a conclusion as to whether actionable lawbreaking took place. The Trump Administration and it's Republican allies are doing everything they can to keep this from happening, and one has to ask why? LE is a conservative bastion, not a liberal hotbed, but here we are finding the Republicans finding fault with the very processes they invented and codified themselves after 9/11.

It is a shame that the credibility of the entirety of federal law enforcement is being drug through the mud for the sake of protecting Donald Trump's (alleged and documented) criminality and those jumping into Trump's rickety anti-American boat will be sunk when it inevitably goes down for the last time.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-02-05 06:15 PM

The few FBI agents I know expressed deep concern, and actually sadness, after hearing of Comey's firing. They truly enjoyed his leadership.

That's just a few, obviously anecdotal, but it fits the above narrative to a T.

#2 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-02-05 07:16 PM

I wonder if they now feel the same since Comey has been exposed as a liar and a leaker.

#3 | Posted by sawdust at 2018-02-05 08:51 PM

#3 | POSTED BY SAWDUST AT 2018-02-05 08:51 PM

Not sure. I'll let you know when I ask them what they think.

#4 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-02-06 12:41 AM

#3

The person who called Comey a liar and a leaker is the same person who has been documented to spout at minimum 5+ lies every single day of his presidency, so anyone quoting this person as a source of accurate information is likely utilizing the stopped clock standard.

Please post any link showing that either the DOJ or the FBI has ever stated or charged Jim Comey with criminal leaking of classified information or filed perjury charges against him for lying under oath.

We'll wait.

#5 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-02-06 07:46 AM

James Comey Said He Leaked Explosive Trump Memo To Prompt Special Counsel Appointment
HuffingtonPost

The Federal Bureau of Investigations sent a letter Tuesday evening aiming to clear up false statements said by Director James Comey to Congress last week
CNN

he (Comey) not only held back critical details about his investigation, he repeatedly misrepresented his actions and findings.
NYPost

FISA Memo: James Comey Lied Under Oath About Trump Surveillance
SHTFPlan

#6 | Posted by sawdust at 2018-02-06 09:22 AM

You don't read very well, do you?

Please post any link showing that either the DOJ or the FBI has ever stated or charged Jim Comey with criminal leaking of classified information or filed perjury charges against him for lying under oath.

Your links do neither, but nice try though because he's never been charged or accused of either. Are you stupid enough to think that Comey himself compiled the information which he gave to Congress and that he knew at that time what he was saying wasn't true? The FBI corrected the record because Comey had been given information that wasn't accurate which he articulated during testimony. And your last link is garbage: Steele was not the only source used to obtain FISA warrants.

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2018-02-06 11:11 AM

Comey is a Hoover want to be. Can't say if he fully cross dresses or just wears women's panties.

He brings shame on this fine institution that tried to blackmail civil right activists, oversaw the Waco executions, and slept during 911.

Has the FBI ever foiled a terrorist plot that they didn't instigate themselves?

#8 | Posted by visitor_ at 2018-02-06 11:13 AM

"Law and Order" Republicans turn on "Law and Order" for "Rape and Pillage" (literally).

#9 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2018-02-06 06:29 PM

#8 | Posted by visitor_

Why are you more angry about a guy who helped us learn the president colluded with putin than you are about the president colluding with putin?

#10 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2018-02-06 06:46 PM

Ok, we like Comey again. Got it.

#11 | Posted by Ben_Berkkake at 2018-02-06 08:39 PM

The lawlessness of the FBI leadership, specifically Comey, McCabe and of course Lynch is want concerns the "Law and Order" Republicans.

#12 | Posted by sawdust at 2018-02-06 08:50 PM

The lawlessness of the FBI leadership, specifically Comey, McCabe and of course Lynch is want concerns the "Law and Order" Republicans.

#12 | Posted by sawdust

But the lawlessness of a president is just fine with them as long as he rains cash on their donors.

#13 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2018-02-06 09:01 PM

Ok, we like Comey again. Got it.
#11 | POSTED BY BEN_BERKKAKE

Nuance, Benny. Learn it.

#14 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2018-02-06 09:01 PM

#8 Don't forget, the FBI didn't connect the dots u til Putin captured the Whitehouse.

#15 | Posted by bored at 2018-02-06 09:30 PM

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