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FBI agent in op-ed says he’s leaving over ‘relentless attacks on the bureau’
A former FBI agent says in a new op-ed that he has left the nation's top law enforcement agency due to the "relentless" attacks on the bureau from critics such as President Trump and congressional Republicans.
In an op-ed for The New York Times, former supervisory special agent Josh Campbell wrote that "political attacks on the bureau must stop."
"After more than a decade of service, which included investigating terrorism, working to rescue kidnapping victims overseas and being special assistant to the director, I am reluctantly turning in my badge and leaving an organization I love." Campbell wrote.
"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," he continued. "My resignation is painful, but the alternative of remaining quiet while the bureau is tarnished for political gain is impossible."
Campbell's op-ed comes after the publication Friday of a memo allegedly detailing abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by the FBI.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), whose staff compiled the memo, says it reveals "violations of the public trust" committed by the intelligence agency.
"The Committee has discovered serious violations of the public trust, and the American people have a right to know when officials in crucial institutions are abusing their authority for political purposes. Our intelligence and law enforcement agencies exist to defend the American people, not to be exploited to target one group on behalf of another," Nunes said Friday.
Campbell also defended the agency's involvement in the events described in the memo, which alleges the FBI and Department of Justice abused their surveillance powers.
"[E]very statement of fact included in an affidavit for foreign intelligence collection must withstand the scrutiny of at least 10 people in the Department of Justice hierarchy before it is reviewed by an independent court," he wrote.
Campbell goes on to argue it would be "disingenuous" for Republicans to argue that the FBI is "plotting from within" against Trump or in favor of his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, despite text messages between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page seeming to confirm Strzok's political bias against Trump.
"While it would be disingenuous to claim that those two are not at least guilty of exercising incredibly poor judgment, it would be equally disingenuous for anyone who really knows the modern-day bureau to insinuate that the organization is plotting from within," Campbell wrote.
"These political attacks on the bureau must stop. If those critics of the agency persuade the public that the FBI cannot be trusted, they will also have succeeded in making our nation less safe," he said.