Featured Opinion

Former FBI SA DiLaura: Mr. President, you’re backed into the corner… make your move!

By J. Gary DiLaura

FBI Ret.

It is crystal clear to me that former FBI Director, James Comey, was on a course to destroy the FBI and the credibility we enjoyed with the public.

Today we learn that Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director FBI, in addition to crimes I believe he committed, directed those under him to leak information to the press, probably favoring Hillary Clinton, on the FBI investigation.

In my opinion, there may be more Obstruction, Conspiracy and other Title 18 violations to come.

McCabe should be fired or, at least, placed on official suspension, the subject of an Administrative Inquiry and the subject of several criminal violations. He should not be on annual leave awaiting retirement this month, trying to protect his benefits. Action should have been taken to bring charges against him to try and “toll” his pension. If I were director, I would have fired him and forced him to fight for his $100,000+, lifetime pension or “roll over”.

Are there no FBI Agent-Executives left who know how to make criminal cases?  McCabe did Comey’s dirty work and apparently is too dumb to see that he will be left holding the bag, along with Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

 Even though most of the public do not understand what goes on at the FBI, retired, former agents, who spent decades there working criminal cases – such as myself-  can easily see what Comey was up to.

I’ll try to explain:  The faith and trust the FBI earned from the public is crucial to the FBI’s success. Ask any retired agent and I guarantee you he will tell you the same thing! That’s why J. Edgar Hoover created the FBI’s Top 10 Fugitive Program and the FBI Identification Order Fugitive Program (IO Fugitives were the subjects of those Post Office “Wanted Flyers” you used to see). Hoover made us work about 15 violations that they called high profile cases like bank robbery, kidnapping, unlawful flight, escape federal prisoner, extortion  and more.  Hoover kept the FBI in the public’s eye, intentionally, because he knew of the public’s importance in solving cases.

There was a FBI Agent on duty or standby at every FBI headquarters and Resident Agency throughout the entire country 24/7 “just in case” that one call came in. And come in they did. We solved some of the biggest cases from a call-in complaint. I even developed a “source” to whom the FBI paid the second largest lump sum in FBI history, up to that time, for the major case he cracked! The highest paid, to that point, was for the location of the Selma Alabama Civil Rights Workers, who were murdered and buried. That’s how vital the public is to the FBI.

James Comey, single handed, all but destroyed that confidence! No one with his background could possibly be that stupid. He put in place the new phone system nationwide that prevented the public from speaking directly to a “complaint” agent on the phone. The recorded message callers hear today says, “If this is an emergency, hang up and call 911”.  I kid you not! That’s why I believe the Nikolas Cruz call went nowhere. An agent would not have passed on that call, and that’s not Monday morning quarterbacking, that’s experience.

Comey placed two people, McCabe and Strzok, in the two highest positions, in the most successful crime fighting agency in the world, two people who I believe only had First Office Training experience in criminal investigations. I believe Comey did that so he could tell them to do things an experienced criminal agent would never do. For example, leak information about investigations and interview major subjects, (Hillary’s staff and Hillary) herself) in front of their lawyers. You just don’t do that.

Rep. Trey Gowdy brought up a very important point: He counted 24 witnesses involved in the DOJ FBI matter that need to be investigated, who no longer work for the government and are therefore out of reach of an IG.

The IGs are for Administrative Inquiries of government employees and have no subpoena power, no prosecutorial powers, are not law enforcement officers and can only make referrals.

I believe the president is missing a golden opportunity to restore the public’s confidence in DOJ, law enforcement and the FISA court, and most important, seeing that justice is carried out.

My recommendation is to appoint Mr. Gowdy to Deputy AG, replacing Rod Rosenstein, who is a subject himself.  Gowdy knows all the cases in question, is a great prosecutor, and a man of proven integrity and should be confirmed as a “Deputy” AG.

The IG can’t prosecute, or even get to all the witnesses. The AG, Jeffrey Sessions, recused himself from his job. The next in succession, Deputy AG Rosenstein will be investigated himself and same with Ohr.

Director Wray is apparently an honest man but a weak FBI Director. A strong FBI Director would have already  fired McCabe, suspended Strzok, and a few others;  and done away with the insane phone answering system that Comey installed which causes a total disconnect with the public.

Where do you go, Mr. President? You have been backed into the corner and have to get directly involved.

Here’s who you should not  have investigate any of the FISA, Hillary cases, or FBI employee cases:  DOJ-AG Sessions, DAG Rosenstein, Ohr or any other DOJ’ers who touched the FISA papers. Neither can Mueller, or anyone from the FBI who was at the top and involved.

The DOJ IG can’t do it; Congress can’t, the Senate can’t.

If you feel you must pick a Special Prosecutor, which I wouldn’t do, then pick a former FBI “criminal investigator” like Jim Kalstrom. Any other pick would be a big mistake. You need an aggressive prosecutor and well experienced criminal FBI Agent.

The best bet would be for the president to take charge, overall, and reappoint a few retired agents who would draw investigators from those real agents who were really working the cases. Led by Wray, with help from those who have been there before, the FBI is still the best bet and is the agency to do it, but the leadership and investigators must be handpicked!

I would find a way to make Trey Gowdy the prosecutor, even if you had to make the lead FBI Office, Columbia SC , and Gowdy an “AUSA” with special duty compensation, and then don’t worry about Senate confirmation!

My opinion and I’m sticking to it!

About the author

Frank Parlato

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