In a startling interview with the Wall Street Journal, former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom, a 28-year careerist with the Bureau, said that he was ashamed of what had become of the agency. Kallstrom, who presided over some of the FBI’s biggest cases throughout his illustrious career, told the Journal: “I do not recognize the agency I gave 28 years of my life to.”
Unlike many former FBI veterans, who feel endless loyalty to the institution regardless of the systemic problems that have been exposed in recent years, Kallstrom has embraced his status as a critic of the Bureau. He has been outspoken about the flaws in two major recent investigations: the one into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the one into Donald Trump’s association with Moscow. In both, he told the Journal, disturbing facts had come to light that could eventually discredit the law enforcement agency he spent his career serving.
In the interview, Kallstrom enumerated some of the things he found most troubling about the way the FBI had handled both investigations.
From the WSJ article:
Here are a few examples of what Mr. Kallstrom finds so alien:
Director James Comey testifies to Congress in September 2016 that he hadn’t decided to recommend against prosecuting Mrs. Clinton until after the FBI had interviewed her—but it later emerges he’d started drafting his statement clearing her weeks earlier.
An FBI agent and FBI lawyer— Peter Strzok and Lisa Page —have an affair that opens them up to blackmail and poses a clear conflict of interest in working together. Even so, they fail to recuse themselves from the Mueller investigation.
This same FBI duo exchange messages that later get Mr. Strzok dumped from Mr. Mueller’s team, here talking about an FBI “insurance policy” against Mr. Trump’s winning the election, there talking about how to keep hidden from colleagues what looks like a leak to the press.
The FBI secures a FISA warrant to spy on a member of Mr. Trump’s campaign, which some news reports say relied in part on a dossier that was financed as opposition research for the Clinton campaign and which Mr. Comey himself described as “salacious and unverified.”
It’s one thing for layman pundits to sit back and say there’s something fishy going on within the ranks of the Justice Department and the FBI, but it’s a whole ‘nother ball of wax for career veterans to speak up and say, “You know what? This stinks to high heaven.”
Lawmakers need to take this problem seriously before we have a crisis of constitutional proportions on our hands.