Fmr. CIA Officer: Comey ‘Violated His Oath’ by Orchestrating Memo Leak
Intel official warns 'horrifically wrong and scary' for fired FBI director to be encouraging disclosures
Former CIA ops agent Bryan Dean Wright said fired FBI Director James Comey “violated his oath” by orchestrating the leak of memos detailing his personal communications with President Donald Trump, during an interview Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
Wright, a registered Democrat, noted Comey did not follow protocol when he asked a friend to leak his memos to The New York Times.
“As a former agency officer, you can talk to anybody who has worked for the FBI or other entities like NSA — you are taught there is a very clear process by which you are supposed to follow if you have concerns,” Wright said. “And my God — we had James Comey, a director of the FBI who leads one of the most pre-eminent organizations in this country, with lots of informants that do this secret bidding, and he decided to leak notes to The New York Times.”
Comey should have taken his memos to Congress and told them, "You guys can decide what to do with this from here," Wright said.
"And he didn't do that. He violated his oath," Wright added.
The proper procedure an intelligence official must follow if he has concerns about gathered information involves multiple steps and never includes leaking, Wright said.
"You go to the inspectors general's office. And if that doesn't work, you go to different departments within the FBI or the CIA. If that's still concerning, you go to the oversight committees in Congress," Wright said. "And if that still doesn't work, then you go to another member of Congress — yours or another — and say, 'I have this information. I'm concerned.' And then the member — an elected person — makes that decision about what to do next."
"You are not supposed to leak. That is absolutely something that is not only a violation of rules — it's certainly a violation of your secrecy agreements — but fundamentally it is a violation against the oath that you take to protect and conserve the American people," Wright added. "It is not your information. It is the government's information. And if you leak it, you jeopardize people like your informants who are doing God's work out there trying to make sure that we are kept safe from a whole bunch of different threats around the world. That's how it's supposed to work. It's not working that way."
The former CIA agent insisted that the lower and mid-level tiers of the intelligence agencies are filled with good people "doing God's work" who are focused on serving their country. As those officers work on the Russia probe, Wright believes they will do "a fair and thoughtful job."
"The question is, when it gets to [special counsel Robert] Mueller and others, can we believe that politicization will have been jettisoned from the process and we're going to get a fair and thoughtful conclusion?" Wright asked. "I believe that we will, but I think it's absolutely fair to raise the question that you're raising. And we should be talking about that."
Ingraham noted Comey testified before the Senate that he asked his friend to leak his memos to the press because he hoped it would force the selection of a special counsel.
"I think you start to have problems when you get to that senior level. And I've been saying this for months, and ... Comey came out and acknowledged that he was leaking to The New York Times, it proved that to be true," Wright said, noting that other former Obama intelligence officials such as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Director John Brennan have engaged in behavior that "suggests that they are doing some kind of hanky[-panky] business."
"That's the concern that I think most of us ought to have, because who at the end of the day gets to decide who are political winners and losers? It should be the voters, right? It should not be these unnamed individuals within various government entities," Wright said of the media's anonymous sources. "And that's my great concern, particularly as an agency officer who know full well that a lot of these sources are just no good at all."
"If you're starting to politicize our intelligence community and our law enforcement communities, and we're telling each other effectively, 'Hey, leak! It's fine. Your political team wins. It's fine,' it's horrifically wrong and scary," Wright added. (click on page 2 for the rest of the story)