FBI agents have told former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani that there is “a revolution going on” inside the agency that has now “reached its boiling point,” he said Friday.
“I’m not part of it at all. All I heard were former FBI agents telling me that there’s a revolution going on inside the FBI, and it’s now at a boiling point,” Giuliani said on “Fox and Friends,” when asked what he knew prior to Director James Comey’s decision to reactivate the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
“I think they kept getting stymied looking for subpoenas, looking for records,” he added.
Giuliani was largely echoing reports of internal strife within the agency that have emerged via anonymous leaks to the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Associated Press, and Fox News over the past week.
Last Friday, Comey revealed in a letter to Congress that the agency would be conducting a new review of emails “pertinent” to the Clinton private server investigation. The probe had been completed in July with no indictment.
Giuliani told Fox on Friday morning that he “honestly” thought the letter would be released “about three or four weeks ago,” indicating that Giuliani — a prominent surrogate for Republican nominee Donald Trump — had been given advance notice by someone with knowledge of the bureau’s deliberations that agents were investigating new Clinton-related material.
The admission raised eyebrows among those speculating that Comey’s decision to send the letter to Congress 10 days before the election stemmed at least in part from the bureau’s antipathy toward Clinton.
Giuliani did not say whether he communicated the FBI’s plans to the Trump campaign before Comey’s letter went public. But in a separate interview with Fox three days before the Clinton email news broke, Giuliani said that he and the Trump campaign had “a couple of surprises left” before Election Day.
Asked if they were “October surprises,” Giuliani said he would “call them early surprises in the way we’re going to campaign to get our message out, maybe in a little bit of a different way.”
“You’ll see,” he said. “And I think it will be enormously effective. And I do think that all of these revelations about Hillary Clinton finally are beginning to have an impact.”
Giuliani’s admission Friday that he had expected the Clinton news to break earlier — and that he was in touch with several FBI agents unhappy with their leadership’s apparent disinterest in going after Clinton more forcefully — was not the first time the former federal prosecutor for Manhattan has claimed to have his finger on the pulse of the bureau.
“It perplexes numerous FBI agents who talk to me all the time,” Giuliani said during an August interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “And it embarrasses some FBI agents.”
From anonymous leaks to media outlets this week, it has become clear that many agents were apparently upset with Comey’s decision in July to not recommend charges against Clinton over her use of a private email server for work correspondences while she was secretary of state.
“I don’t think the FBI should ever make a prosecution recommendation. I believe Comey was honestly motivated, but I just don’t think process- and procedure-wise it was the right thing to do,” Steven Pomerantz, a retired assistant director for the FBI, told Bloomberg.
A former FBI official, meanwhile, told The Guardian that some agents even believe Comey “threw the FBI under the bus by taking the heat away from” the Justice Department, which came under scrutiny after Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a private meeting with former President Bill Clinton on his plane shortly before the case was closed.
The strife apparently extended to agency matters involving the Clinton Foundation, as well.
Unnamed FBI sources told both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times that they were told to “stand down” by corruption prosecutors within the public-integrity section of the Justice Department when they presented what they thought was enough evidence to move forward with a probe into potential corruption within the foundation.
That investigation was inspired by claims in the 2015 book “Clinton Cash” that the foundation traded favours and access for money while Clinton served in the State Department between 2009 and 2013, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to The New York Times.
Much like they blamed Comey for fumbling the Clinton server case, personnel within the FBI have reportedly accused the agency’s No. 2, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, of caving to Justice Department demands by not taking on the foundation case more forcefully.
Ultimately, however, much of the agents’ frustration — and why they’re now venting that frustration to the press — may boil down to partisanship.
“The FBI is Trumpland,” a current agent told The Guardian, noting that some have openly discussed voting for Trump next week.
Accordingly, FBI leakers now appear to be sending a message to their superiors — and to the Justice Department — that they’re unsatisfied with their leadership by publicizing the investigations and forcing them into the court of public opinion.
Clinton is “the Antichrist personified to a large swath of FBI personnel,” the anonymous agent said. “The reason why they’re leaking is they’re pro-Trump.”
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