Leading a significant organization teaches you that despite your desire for facts, data and analysis, you must also be able to judge movements and dynamics in your organization based on symptomatic representations that may not be based in facts or data. That ability to judge symptoms of potential cultural changes or challenges is the precursor to what likely will be facts and data in the future.
The current symptoms of interest at the FBI and DOJ are the departures of senior executive level staff. To date eight senior FBI executives have left or will shortly leave the agency. It matters not whether they are getting out ahead of the report of Inspector General Michael Horowitz or are being moved out by Director Wray. The fact simply is that long serving FBI and DOJ officials are dropping like flies: Chief of Staff Rybicki, Agents Strzok and Page, Public Affairs head Mike Karton, General Counsel James Baker, Assistant Director McCabe, Executive Assistant Director of Counter Terrorism and Counter Intelligence, Larry Melford, are all headed for the door. Which brings us to William “Bill” Priestap; Priestap as head of the FBI’s counterintelligence operation would have had Peter Strzok as a direct report as Strzok was heading up the investigations of Clinton and Russian collusion. Woops, almost forgot former Director Comey and his antics. Nine senior people are gone or demoted and counting.
At DOJ David Laufman, Director of DOJ counter intelligence and the export control section is also leaving, all of a sudden and in an apparent big hurry. Mr. Laufman was a supervisory presence during the Clinton and Russia collusion probes and was present during the interviews of Mrs. Clinton and her key staff members. Mr. Laufman is also accused of being the source of national security breaches as a leaker, the DOJ denies that report. Bruce Ohr was, prior to his demotion, an Associate Attorney General at DOJ. His wife was a paid participant at Fusion GPS. Ohr met directly with Fusion GPS head Simpson regarding the Steele Dossier while not reporting the contact to superiors.
Former Comey Chief of Staff Rybicki is reported to have been at the center of and the communication hub for the issues regarding the Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting and the coordination of the “small group” handling the Clinton E-mail investigation.
General Counsel James Baker is accused of being the source for the leak of the Steele Dossier to David Corn at Mother Jones.
We are all too familiar with the role of Assistant Director McCabe and his involvement is all of the issues currently under investigation at the FBI, McCabe was central to what we currently know and much of what is to come.
Wow that’s a whole lot of symptomatic representations. What do all of the symptoms point to? Everyone identified above was involved in either the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation or the Russia collusion probe, or in some cases both. Some have their fingerprints on the Steele Dossier, some were involved in the Clinton e-mail cover up, others involved in editing the Comey/Clinton memos and talking points as they were in trying to flush away the Clinton/Lynch meeting.
The symptoms indicate that there existed at the FBI endemic corruption and politicization. The same may come to be the case for the DOJ as well. The “world’s most effective investigative organization” the FBI was, at the top of its hierarchy, little more than a political operation in favor of one point of political view. The shameful behavior of FBI management tends to provide additional clarity for the IRS scandal and Fast and Furious. What we know clarifies why Eric Holder seemed not so very upset at being in contempt of Congress. Why Loretta Lynch met with Bill Clinton on the tarmac, why the FBI was more interested in finding out who tipped off the reporter than the impropriety of the meeting.
When we ask the question, who can you trust within the bureaucracy? There is no clear answer! We are all the poorer for that.