When former special counsel Robert Mueller publicly testifies before Congress on Wednesday, one of the names that is sure to come up during his testimony is James Comey — the former FBI director who was fired by President Donald Trump in May 2017. And the Washington Examiner is reporting that in 2017, during the early months of Trump’s presidency, Comey had an “inside man” working in the White House — an individual that, according to the Examiner, might be tied to an investigation of FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) surveillance activities being conducted by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
The individual in question is veteran FBI official Anthony Ferrante, who was an adviser on cybersecurity for the National Security Council (NSC). In 2017, according to RealClearInvestigations, Ferrante was working in the White House while sharing information about the Trump Administration with the FBI.
A former NSC official, interviewed on condition of anonymity, said of Comey’s relationship with Ferrante, “In an unprecedented action, Comey created a new FBI reserve position for Ferrante, enabling him to have an ongoing relationship with the agency, retaining his clearances and enabling him to come back in.”
Ferrante’s work in the White House, that official alleged, seemed to be “in direct conflict with the no-contact policy between the White House and the Department of Justice.”
Ferrante left the White House in April 2017, which was the month before Trump fired Comey from his position as FBI director. After that, Ferrante was hired by BuzzFeed News to investigate a dossier put together by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
Steele authored a dossier alleging that the Russian government had a file that contained damaging information on Trump, and the dossier was published by BuzzFeed in January 2017 (the month in which President Barack Obama left office and Trump was sworn in as president).
In RealClearInvestigations, Paul Sperry reported on Tuesday that Comey “had nine conversations with Trump between January and May 2017, some in the White House. Almost every time, he went back to FBI headquarters and wrote up a memo documenting not only his version of the conversation but also, a complete update of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation — the FBI’s code name for the Trump Russia probe it launched in July 2016.”
Comey, Sperry notes, was an “early skeptic of the Steele dossier” and described its claims as “salacious and unverified.”