Like James Comey, the reaction to his firing as FBI director provokes a polarizing response among former bureau agents.
“Our government is in trouble when a man like Jim Comey gets summarily fired for no cause,” Ken Maxwell, the special agent in charge of counterterrorism in the New York office on 9/11, tells Breitbart News. “The FBI director, to keep him out of the political fray, can only be fired for cause.”
Comey joins William Sessions and L. Patrick Gray as FBI directors fired from their jobs. Maxwell cites the installation of a security fence at government expense at the home of Sessions as an example of an act that can lead to removal. Gray, who burned Watergate documents in his fireplace, also left the job under an ethics cloud. Maxwell sees no such impropriety, just controversy, in Comey’s actions.
“I really smell a rat here,” Maxwell, a partner in the Maxwell Security Group, tells Breitbart News. “For them now to cite that July 5th incident—Trump and his campaign could have done that during the transition. Why wait until now and cite that?”
Last July, Comey outlined Hillary Clinton’s malfeasance in keeping classified material on a private email server but declined to recommend indictment based on a lack of criminal intent. His refusal to recommend prosecution in July and reopening of the matter in October angered both Republicans and Democrats, leaving him with few defenders in Washington.
“I think the bureau is getting too close with the [former National Security Advisor Michael] Flynn thing,” Maxwell posits. “That’s what I think.”
Donald Wofford, a 22-year veteran of the bureau in charge of authorizing domestic terrorism investigations at FBI headquarters in the late 1980s, disagrees.
“The man should have been fired on July the 6th,” Wofford holds.
“Every time [FBI investigators] went into Comey’s office to update him and advise him on steps they would take, he said ‘no’ and obstructed them,” Wofford explains to Breitbart News. “He didn’t want anyone interviewing Huma Abedin. He didn’t want to use the grand jury. He wouldn’t let them get Hillary Clinton’s medical records when she said she couldn’t remember because she had a concussion.”
Whereas Maxwell maintains that Comey fought to prevent politicization from tarnishing the image of the bureau, Wofford insists the ousted director politicized matters by quashing the investigation into Mrs. Clinton.
“He owed a lot of favors to Hillary Clinton,” Wofford posits. “He made sure the investigation went nowhere.”
Comey, a former U.S. attorney sworn in as FBI director in July of 2013, leaves office less than four years into his ten-year term. The Trump administration said Comey could no longer effectively lead the FBI and that by replacing him it hoped to restore public trust in the bureau.