Josh Campbell, a former FBI special agent who served as special assistant to former FBI Director James Comey, posted on Twitter Saturday that he believes the Inspector General report set to be released this month will “slam the FBI for violating policies and procedures in handling the Clinton email investigation.” As Comey’s assistant, Campbell would be in a position to know how the Clinton investigation was handled–or mishandled.
Screen image via the Daily Caller.
The report by Justice Department IG Michael Horowitz is expected to be released within the week, with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the report set for June 11.
Campbell, who was with Comey in California when he was fired by President Donald Trump last year, wrote a pre-release spin on the IG report that while “predicting” a finding of violations by Comey and the FBI still tried to smear Trump:
“Prediction: The independent IG will slam the FBI for violating policies and procedures in handling the Clinton email investigation. The President will then find a way to make it about him and twist it into an attack on Mueller. Standby.”
Campbell’s “prediction” of FBI violations is a sharp reversal of his full-throated defense of the FBI just months ago when he retired from the Bureau, explaining in a NY Times op-ed that he was leaving to defend the integrity of the FBI:
“After more than a decade of service, which included investigating terrorism, working to rescue kidnapping victims overseas and being special assistant to the director, I am reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love. Why? So I can join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America’s premier law enforcement agency but also the nation’s security. My resignation is painful, but the alternative of remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible.“
Campbell’s former boss Comey praised him on Twitter, “Special Agent Josh Campbell will be missed at the FBI, but his voice is an important addition to the national conversation.”
— James Comey (@Comey) February 3, 2018
After leaving the FBI in early February, Campbell was immediately hired by CNN to be a law enforcement analyst. An invitation to Campbell’s farewell party said he was going to be “defending the Bureau”, reported the Daily Caller.
Last summer while still with the FBI, Campbell penned a paean to Comey published by USA Today that began and ended enshrining Comey for sainthood:
“I wonder what her story is,” FBI Director James Comey said to no one in particular as our motorcade rolled through Lower Manhattan, past an elderly woman on a bench embracing a swaddled child.
“Everyone has a story and I bet her story is incredible.”
This was not an unusual musing from our now departed leader — a giant of a man with an even bigger heart, whose focus was always on trying to understand and improve the lives of others.
…It’s strange writing about Comey in the past tense, because it feels like writing an obituary. In a way I am doing just that, because despite curious observations from outsiders regarding Comey’s standing among our FBI family, we are very much an organization in mourning. Fortunately for the FBI, his legacy of leadership and service will permeate our great institution for generations to come as the countless young leaders he touched rise in the organization. Although we must eventually move on and accept recent events — the security of the American people demands our focus on mission — many of us will never stop celebrating the legacy of our seventh director. Like the woman on the bench we passed that day in Manhattan, Director Comey has a story, and it’s incredible.”
“Prediction: The independent IG will slam the FBI for violating policies and procedures in handling the Clinton email investigation.”
Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, highlighted Campbell’s “prediction”, prompting a spin push back from Campbell.
“Forget the prediction re Mueller and recognize that a top aide to Comey just said he thinks the IG will find the FBI, under Comey, “violated policies and procedures in handling the Clinton email investigation.” He’s an insider. A Comey loyalist. Even he thinks the FBI did wrong.”
“Nice try with that crafty spin-filled last sentence. But you’re a pro at this. For my part, I’m going to wait and read what the professionals at the IG concluded before formulating an opinion on whether I think there was wrongdoing. You should try that.”
“Just quoting you verbatim. That’s all.”
Forget the prediction re Mueller and recognize that a top aide to Comey just said he thinks the IG will find the FBI, under Comey, “violated policies and procedures in handling the Clinton email investigation.” He’s an insider. A Comey loyalist. Even he thinks the FBI did wrong. https://t.co/53CckPpHp4
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 2, 2018
Just quoting you verbatim. That’s all.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) June 2, 2018
After Comey was fired, Campbell finished his FBI career as ‘chief of public and congressional affairs at the FBI Los Angeles Field Office’.
Campbell’s professional bio can be read here. The bio mentions Campbell is an officer in the Navy Reserve.