In what could fairly be described as “the fall of the house of Comey,” the latest Washington drama is the announcement by FBI Director Christopher Wray, on Tuesday, that two members of the “Hillary Clinton fan club” will soon be replaced by less biased leaders.
Both of the outgoing senior officials are holdovers from the Obama administration and suspected of sabotaging the Justice Department from within. In recent weeks, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been turning up the heat on Wray to “clean house“ but officially the replacement of these two top administrators are not directly related.
U.S. Attorney Dana Boente will succeed ousted James Baker as general counsel and Zachary Harmon will step in for Jim Rybicki. The FBI chief of staff announced his departure for the private sector almost as soon as he stepped off the witness stand at last week’s oversight committee grilling.
Wray himself was brought in by President Trump last August to take over for James Comey, who was fired after Rod Rosenstein authored a memo “that detailed criticism against the FBI director.” Comey botched and bungled the entire Clinton email probe along with other instances of poor judgment bordering on incompetence.
President Trump was elected by a solid grassroots base of conservatives almost entirely on his promises to “drain the swamp” of corruption in Washington. That isn’t something the career denizens of the murk were thrilled to hear. High ranking officials in key government agencies were not anxious for an outsider to come in and upset the well-greased apple cart run by Obama and the Clintons.
It seems that virtually everyone in ranking positions of both the FBI and Justice Department was hard-core Clinton supporters. The FBI branch of the Hillary Clinton fan club was in charge of the sensitive investigation of the way Hillary mishandled classified information, through a clandestine personal email account that was hosted by a server in her closet. After lead investigator Peter Strzok downgraded the report findings from “gross negligence” to “extreme carelessness,” Clinton was cleared of all charges.
While the election was still underway, the FBI and Justice Department were politicized as weapons against Mr. Trump. FBI agent Strzok conspired with his Justice Department lover, founding a “secret society” to create an “insurance policy.” In Andrew McCabe’s office, they cooked up a bogus investigation of non-existant Trump-Russian collusion.
The plan was to discredit the President and possibly have him impeached. Unconfirmed salacious allegations dug up by Christopher Steele and paid for by the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee were used by the FBI as a basis for wiretaps against members of President Trump’s campaign staff. President Trump himself may have been bugged.
Dana Boente is giving up the title of acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division so he can head over to the FBI as their lawyer in court. Originally appointed by Obama, he managed to get on “the Kenyan’s” bad side, so was removed from the list of eligibles to become attorney general.
The day President Trump was sworn in, he reversed that order. He soon assigned Boente to the acting attorney general job that Sally Yates had been doing before she was fired. Boente was number two man in the Justice Department after Jeff Sessions was confirmed, then headed over to help out in national security.
Director Wray picked Zachary Harmon to be his new chief of staff after working with him in the past, at the King & Spalding law firm. Formerly a federal prosecutor, Harmon will replace Jim Rybicki.
Director Wray says even though the announcement came just after Rybicki was questioned by a pair of oversight committees for his role in Russiagate, the departure was pending for a while. “Jim Rybicki notified me last month that he will be leaving the FBI to accept an opportunity in the corporate sector,” Wray notes. “Fortunately, I am pleased that Zachary Harmon has agreed to return to government service as our next chief of staff.”
Attorney General Sessions has also “reportedly urged Wray to oust FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.” Wray wasn’t willing to do that but it turns out to be a moot point. The disgraced Deputy Director announced his “early retirement” in a few weeks after allegations surfaced his wife ran for state Senate using money supplied by a Clinton crony. “McCabe’s supervision of the Clinton’s email investigation came under scrutiny because his wife’s Virginia Senate campaign received contributions from Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee.”