A rogue element

Nate Silver points out an aspect I would love to know more about. (I don’t suppose we ever will.)

Stephanopoulos doesn’t quite pose the “why not wait?” question directly to Comey, but Comey’s thinking seems to have been influenced by concerns that pro-Trump elements within the FBI would leak word of the Weiner emails to the media.

From the transcript where they’re talking about why he sent the letter about re-opening the emails investigation:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: One of the reasons it was– you feared it was going to leak out is– ’cause you were dealing with a rogue element of FBI agents and former FBI agents up in New York who were really pushing to get this out there. Were you aware of that?

JAMES COMEY: I knew that there were leaks coming– or appeared to be leaks about criminal investigation of the Clintons coming out of New York. And I don’t know exactly where that was coming from. I commissioned an investigation to find out. I don’t know what the investigation found.

But, yeah, I was worried about– the– the team that had done the investigation was in the counterintelligence division at headquarters, of the emails. And there were no leaks at all, very tight. But the criminal folks in New York were now involved in a major way, and I don’t want to single anybody out ’cause I don’t know where it was coming from.

But there’d been enough up there that I thought there was a pretty reasonable likelihood that it would leak, and that’s what Loretta was reflecting.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You had your– your former boss, Rudy Giuliani, out there on television saying something big was coming.

JAMES COMEY: Yes, I saw that. And I don’t know whether that was– it’s part of what I ordered investigated. I don’t know whether that was part of a leak outta the– FBI office in New York that knew about the search warrant. But that was my concern, that once you start seeking a search warrant, especially in a criminal case– counterintelligence is different.

They’re so used to operating in a classified environment. They’re much tighter. But once you start involving people whose tradition is criminal, and in New York which has a different culture, there is a reasonable likelihood it was going to get out anyway.

Rogue elements in the criminal division in the New York branch of the FBI, who were Trump fans, who were thought to be about to leak.

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