Michael Kortan, the FBI’s Head of Public Affairs and longtime aide to former bureau chief James Comey, is leaving his post.
FOX News reports:
The longtime head of public affairs at the FBI — who was a confidant of former director James Comey — is planning to retire, Fox News has learned.
A notice went out this week for a retirement get-together for Michael Kortan scheduled for Feb. 15. Since 2009, Kortan has served as assistant director for public affairs, an influential job that controlled media access. He also served under former director Robert Mueller, now leading the Russia probe. […]
It’s unclear whether the retirement was long-planned or in any way precipitated by recent events. The FBI emphasized he was finishing 33 years of service.
After Comey became director in September 2013, Kortan helped facilitate regular on-the-record briefings with beat reporters, a departure from previous directors.
Kortan also was front and center during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, and especially in July 2016 — coordinating media coverage and handing out copies of Comey’s public statement recommending against criminal charges in the investigation into mishandling of classified information.
Kortan joins a growing list of key officials leaving the FBI amid Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s probe into the bureau’s Clinton email investigation.
Former FBI special agent Josh Campbell recently quit the bureau to join CNN, citing increasing levels of criticism directed at the agency.
In a New York Times op-ed, Campbell wrote, “To be effective, the F.B.I. must be believed and must maintain the support of the public it serves. … These political attacks on the bureau must stop.”
“If those critics of the agency persuade the public that the F.B.I. cannot be trusted, they will also have succeeded in making our nation less safe,” Campbell added.
In what was a significant shakeup at the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe stepped down January 29th.
“McCabe, who served a brief stint as acting director of the bureau, was already expected to leave. He will stay on ‘terminal leave’ until he is eligible to retire with benefits in March,” reported CNBC.
According to the Washington Post, McCabe intended to resign from the FBI once he was eligible for full pension benefits in March.
In late January, James Rybicki, a top FBI official who was once chief of staff to James Comey and current Bureau Director Christopher Wray, resigned as well.