“The special counsel’s investigation is very important, understanding what efforts there were or are by Russian government to influence our government is a critical part of the FBI’s mission,” fired FBI director James Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday. “And you’ve got the right person in Bob Mueller to lead it.”
The reason one former FBI director dubs his predecessor the right person for the role of special counsel makes him precisely the wrong person for the job, a former assistant FBI director tells Breitbart News.
“Bob Mueller and Jim Comey are the best of friends and have been for over two decades,” James Kallstrom, former head of the bureau’s New York office, explains. “How do you appoint a special counsel who is a longtime friend? It’s a massive conflict of interest.”
In an investigation where Comey not only serves as the president’s main antagonist but in which the FBI figures to factor in to the findings, why would Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoint the former director of the FBI to investigate a matter so heavily pertaining to the credibility of the organization Mueller once led?
“It huge conflict of interest to ask him to look into the FBI,” former assistant FBI director Kallstrom tells Breitbart News. Even if Mueller and Comey did not enjoy such a close personal relationship the idea of one FBI director investigating another seems like a stretch, critics contend.
The appointment of a special counsel raises the question of whether the appointment of his close friend came as a coincidence or if Comey helped engineer Mueller’s appointment the way he admits to helping to spur the creation of a special counsel through a calculated leak to the New York Times.
Garrett Graff, who authored a book on Mueller, reported on the investigator and the investigated’s friendship long before Trump even entered politics. He explained in the Washingtonian four years ago of Comey that “there was only one person in government whom he could confide in and trust: Bob Mueller.” Graff wrote at Politico almost a month ago of the pair’s close friendship, with the younger man regarding the senior man as his “mentor.”
In the 2013 Washingtonian piece, Graff noted:
The two men are deeply alike, sharing a background and core principles. Both educated at Virginia universities with a strong public service tradition (Mueller at the University of Virginia; Comey at William & Mary). They both achieved early success in the Justice Department and found subsequent life at private law firms lucrative but unfulfilling. Just years apart in the 1990s, they both gave up their top-tier private law firm jobs to return to the trenches of prosecuting criminals—Mueller as a junior prosecutor in Washington, DC, and Comey in Richmond, Virginia. Both men were rising stars mentored and guided by Eric Holder in the 1990s during Holder’s time in the Justice Department under the Clinton administration.
Now, decades removed from their paths first crossing in the nation’s capital, their careers again dovetail. And observers wonder if this latest intersection comes as a coincidence.