(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FBI employee: James Comey's firing has caused "anger" among agents

An active FBI agent defends the man he says is quite different from the man Trump called a "showboat"

Matthew Rozsa
June 8, 2017 3:45PM (UTC)

FBI Special Agent Joshua Campbell, who worked as a special assistant to James Comey when he was still FBI Director, has written an editorial for USA Today that praises his former boss, even as Comey gives what will probably be the most important testimony of his career.

Campbell describes Comey as a "a giant of a man with an even bigger heart." According to Campbell, Comey seized any opportunity he could to meet and connect with rank-and-file FBI employees, "meeting colleagues at their desks, extending his hand and offering a simple thank you for their service." Later Campbell points out that "any of our 36,000 employees could email him [Comey] directly and he would respond" and, near the end of the editorial, describes the bureau as "very much an organization in mourning."

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As Campbell put it, Comey's firing has caused "varying levels of sadness, anger and confusion." He also credits Comey for being proactive in addressing problems with leadership and diversity in the bureau, saying that "Comey was nothing short of maniacal in driving change throughout the organization in order to right an off-axis leadership selection process, make the FBI more agile, and correct a major diversity problem."

When asked by Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon about the conversations with President Trump that may have played a role in his firing, Comey said that "I got the sense my job would be contingent upon how I conducted myself and whether I demonstrated loyalty," adding that he wasn't sure that he would connect it to the Russia investigation. When Wyden pressed him about Comey saying the president was trying to create a "patronage" relationship, Comey acknowledged that such a relationship implies that the underling must abide by the boss's wishes.

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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