An FBI agent who publicly quit over what he claims is a politicization of the bureau by Republicans has made himself appear rather hypocritical by immediately signing on as a CNN talking head.
FBI special agent Josh Campbell attracted nationwide attention when he not only turned in his badge last Friday, but coincided his departure with a New York Times op-ed detailing why he’s leaving.
In the op-ed, Campbell wrote that he left the FBI in protest of what he describes as the overt politicization of the bureau, and he singled out the release of the GOP memo that reveals alleged abuses by the bureau in its successful attempts to obtain a surveillance warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Congressional Republicans and the White House have grown increasingly concerned about possible bias within the FBI’s investigation of alleged Russian collusion with the Donald Trump presidential campaign.
Text messages between two FBI agents who worked on the Russian investigation strongly suggest anti-Trump bias within the bureau, and now Republicans are crying foul over the FBI’s use of a partisan-generated dossier to obtain a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign staffer. The GOP is concerned over the discovery while Democrats, claiming to have the FBI’s integrity in mind, have pushed back against accusations.
“I am reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love. Why? So I can join the growing chorus of people who believe that the relentless attacks on the bureau undermine not just America’s premier law enforcement agency but also the nation’s security,” wrote Campbell.
“My resignation is painful, but the alternative of remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible.”
The former FBI agent, who served as special assistant to former FBI Director James Comey, criticized the release of the GOP memo. In fact, the op-ed was published on the same day as the memo’s release.
Campbell’s op-ed garnered attention from across the country and bolstered Democratic talking points that the GOP’s actions were undermining the FBI’s credibility.
For example, The Hill published a report with the headline “FBI agent in op-ed says he’s leaving over ‘relentless attacks on the bureau,’” and RawStory‘s headline on the subject read “Special assistant to Comey quits FBI with powerful message against GOP attacks.”
Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump last year, also acknowledged Campbell’s departure, saying he will be missed at the bureau.
However, there is one glaring detail about Campbell that should be noted: he signed on as a CNN contributor immediately following his resignation from the bureau.
The same agent who criticized the politicization of the FBI is now an official CNN pundit who will discuss breaking news, justice, crime and national security issues, according to TVNewser.
The timing of Campbell’s hire is also being called into question. The former FBI agent quit and released his op-ed on Friday, and was officially hired by CNN on Monday.
Insiders in the television news industry were quick to note that deals with on-air analysts don’t come to fruition out of thin air — this is especially the case for weekend days. This background begs the question of how long had Campbell been in discussions with CNN.
Bryan Flood, who covers media for Fox News, says it’s likely that Campbell had agreed to join CNN before he was even aware of what was in the GOP memo.
Campbell, however, had no problem using the memo as a way to bash Republican inquiry of the FBI.
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