FBI Director James Comey
By Steve Neavling
FBI Director James Comey is ruffling feathers in the Obama administration over his aggressive posturing, The Hill reports.
Some of the issues are Comey’s fight with Apple, his suggestion that the Black Lives Matter movement has hindered police and his warning about “gaps” in the screening of Syrian refugees.
Then there’s the issue of Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner who is under investigation for her use of a private e-mail server while she was the secretary of state.
Comey, a Republican who donated to Mitt Romeny’s presidential campaign in 2012, has shown he is “not attached to the strings of the White House,” said Ron Hosko, the former head of the FBI’s criminal investigative division and a critic of Obama’s law enforcement strategies.
On the Apple issue, “It’s just not clear [Comey] is speaking for the administration,” said Richard Clarke, a former White House counterterrorism and cybersecurity chief. “We know there have been administration meetings on this for months. The proposal that Comey had made on encryption was rejected by the administration.”
Former law enforcement officials said Comey may be giving the president more than he bargained for.
“He takes very seriously the fact that he works for the executive branch,” added Leo Taddeo, a former agent in the FBI’s cyber division. “But he also understands the importance of maintaining his independence as a law enforcement agency that needs to give not just the appearance of independence but the reality of it.”