Fox News has just reported that the FBI director’s chief of staff has left his job.
BREAKING: James Rybicki/COS to FBI Director Wray is out. Leaving his post according to @FoxNews Federal Law Enforcement sources.
— Martha MacCallum (@marthamaccallum) January 23, 2018
James Rybicki was also the chief of staff for ousted FBI Director James Comey.
The announcement came from current FBI Director Chris Wray, who also named Rybicki’s replacement in a statement:
Jim Rybicki notified me last month that he will be leaving the FBI to accept an opportunity in the corporate sector. While this is an exciting move for the whole Rybicki family, Jim will be dearly missed by the FBI family — and by me personally.
His many years of dedication to the bureau and DOJ, his level-headed judgement and earnest professionalism, and his steady good cheer have been an asset to us all and have contributed greatly to the safety and security of our nation.”
Fortunately, I am pleased that Zachary Harmon has agreed to return to government service as our next chief of staff.
As Independent Journal Review reported, Rybicki was involved in “pre-writing” the statement exonerating former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before she was even interviewed by the FBI about her email scandal:
Newsweek detailed the documents indicating Comey pre-wrote the statement:
On Monday, the bureau also released a response to the May 2 email. Rybicki sent the response, dated May 16, 2016, to several colleagues: Peter Strzok, Jonathan Moffa, Baker, Trisha Anderson and E.W. Priestap. He copied McCabe and David Bowdich, the associate deputy director. In the email, which is marked “unclassified,” Rybicki wrote, “Please send me any comments on this statement so we may roll into a master doc for discussion with the Director at a future date. Thanks, Jim.”
The FBI titled the release “Drafts of Director Comey’s July 5, 2016 Statement Regarding Email Server Investigation.” That title refers to a press conference Comey held in which he said the bureau had completed its investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email system and that it would not be recommending that the Department of Justice pursue charges, though Clinton had been “careless.” The bureau interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016.
The FBI is currently roiled by scandals involving a series of texts between a senior lawyer and a former senior investigator involved in the Hillary Clinton email scandal and the Trump-Russia probe. After it was discovered that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were romantically involved and vociferously anti-Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller removed the two from his office.
The text messages appeared to show overt bias against President Donald Trump, that they discussed the exoneration of Hillary Clinton in her email probe before her questioning and the apparent “no big there there” in the Trump investigation.
On Friday, the FBI announced that thousands of emails between the two investigators during a crucial five-month time period had gone “missing.”
On Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would “leave no stone unturned” to find out what happened to them.