Comey’s FBI Chief of Staff James Rybicki Abruptly Quits FBI
James Rybicki has walked away from the FBI.
“Jim Rybicki notified me last month that he will be leaving the FBI to accept an opportunity in the corporate sector,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “While this is an exciting move for the whole Rybicki family, Jim will be dearly missed by the FBI family – and by me personally.”
Rybicki was on The Hill last Thursday to testify about the FBI’s mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email case.
Rybicki also served as Wray’s chief of staff since he took the director’s job. He will be replaced by Zachary Harmon, a former DOJ official who left government work for the private sector.
Rybicki, who served ex-FBI Director James Comey as his chief of staff, faced questions from members of House Judiciary and the Oversight and Government Reform committees. The House Intelligence committee likewise questioned Rybiicki.
House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes told Republican colleagues in two closed-door meetings last week he has seen evidence that shows clear “abuse” of government surveillance programs by FBI and Justice Department officials, according to three sources familiar with the conversations, raising more questions about whether the controversial anti-Trump dossier was used by the Obama administration to authorize surveillance of advisers to President Trump.
The California Republican made his comments in private meetings with GOP colleagues as he tried to round up votes in favor of renewing a key section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as Section 702, which eventually passed in the House on Thursday.
That part of the law specifically gives the U.S. government the power to get access to communications, such as emails or phone calls, of foreigners outside the United States who may be plotting a terrorist attack but does not allow the government to target Americans.
Before the vote, Nunes told GOP lawmakers they could trust him that he has not seen abuse of that section of the law dealing with foreigners, but that other sections of the law have in fact been misused by government officials to conduct surveillance of Americans. Nunes vowed that he plans to address his concerns by trying to share the evidence with the entire House later this month, after the debate over Section 702 is complete, according to the three sources familiar with the conversations.
Nunes said he would “read all 435 members of Congress into major abuses with other areas of FISA and will read members in ASAP” on those problems, according to one of the three sources familiar with the conversations.
This story is developing.