The Part of the Story “Shirtless FBI Guy” Left Out

The NYT has a nice story about Frederick Humphries, the FBI Agent who started the investigation into Paula Broadwell’s emails. It talks about how aggressively he pursued Millenium Plotter Ahmed Ressam and other terrorism cases. It quotes two unnamed colleagues vouching for him (though admitting he has conservative political views). It even offers a sort of an explanation for why he sent a shirtless picture of himself to Jill Kelley.

Mr. Berger took issue with news media reports that have said his client sent shirtless pictures of himself to Ms. Kelley.

“That picture was sent years before Ms. Kelley contacted him about this, and it was sent as part of a larger context of what I would call social relations in which the families would exchange numerous photos of each other,” Mr. Berger said.

The photo was sent as a “joke” and was of Mr. Humphries “posing with a couple of dummies.” Mr. Berger said the picture was not sexual in nature.

But it leaves out two key parts of the story. First, his lawyer, Lawrence Berger, rather ridiculously claimed that going to Eric Cantor–rather than someone with oversight over DOJ or Intelligence–constituted normal whistleblower process.

In regard to his client speaking with Mr. Cantor, Mr. Berger declined to address the issue, saying only that his client “had followed F.B.I. protocols.”

“No one tries to become a whistle-blower,” he said. “Consistent with F.B.I. policy, he referred it to the proper component.”

More significantly, though the story repeats the report that Humphries’ superiors believed he was sniffing around the case improperly, the story doesn’t explain what he did to make them think so.

Mr. Humphries passed on Ms. Kelley’s complaint to the cybersquad in the Tampa field office but was not assigned to the case. He was later admonished by supervisors who thought he was trying to insert himself improperly into the investigation.

Given that no one has definitively explained who at FBI told Kelley that Broadwell had sent the emails–which set off a chain that led Broadwell to learning someone knew she was the culprit–there are some very inappropriate ways Humphries might have been involved.

But the NYT does tell a very nice story.

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78 Responses to The Part of the Story “Shirtless FBI Guy” Left Out

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel Hmmm. Wait for @ddayen's Chain of Title to come out on Audible, which means I'll read it sooner, or buy now?
emptywheel @theurbansherpa Pretty deadly too.
emptywheel RT @hshaban: RNC and DNC handing out thumb drives: “Those thumb drives are the number one way to infect a computer."
emptywheel @quibbler Yes. As I said, pointedly NOT one of the servers known to have been hacked by Russia.
emptywheel @theurbansherpa Ut oh. Did you get some horrible disease again?
bmaz @Pedinska @ggreenwald Whistleblowers
emptywheel @quibbler That's not one of the govt networks the Russians are known to have hacked, but others are.
bmaz @Pedinska @ggreenwald Uh, no, I have no problem with the way the statute is being interpreted. Though similar deference ought be given WB's.
emptywheel @palliddh Agree, and while I'd be happy to be rid of Trump I don't much approve of doing it w/Intel panic.
bmaz @Will_Bunch Will, she need to know to ascertain how far to the right to move to pick up a few hundred of them.
emptywheel You'd almost think the GOP didn't want IRS to have enough enough inspectors to collect taxes from rich people...
bmaz @ai002h I'll agree you changed the framing from my original tweet and thus created your own distinction from my statement.
November 2012
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