FBI Director Christopher Wray will replace 2 top aides who have been at the center of controversy.
Rybicki was one of 3 Comey aides in the FBI along with Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and General Counsel James Baker who helped the former FBI Director edit his exoneration statement of Hillary Clinton, including changing the term “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Tuesday he would replace chief of staff James Rybicki, who was involved in actions by Wray’s predecessor that have drawn sharp criticism from President Donald Trump and congressional investigators.
Rybicki will be succeeded by Zachary Harmon, who was a colleague of Wray at law firm King & Spalding and is best known for his work as a prosecutor on the high-profile Enron case.
In a statement released following reports that Wray threatened to quit over pressure to oust his senior staff, the FBI director seemed to go out of his way to assure FBI personnel that Rybicki was not being pushed out.
“Jim Rybicki notified me last month that he will be leaving the FBI to accept an opportunity in the corporate sector. While this is an exciting move for the whole Rybicki family, Jim will be dearly missed by the FBI family — and by me personally,” Wray said. “His many years of dedication to the Bureau and DOJ, his level-headed judgement and earnest professionalism, and his steady good cheer have been an asset to us all and have contributed greatly to the safety and security of our nation.”
Last week, Rybicki was on Capitol Hill answering questions from House Oversight Committee and Judiciary Committee members about his role on matters such as the Clinton email investigation and former FBI Director James Comey’s claims that Trump asked him for a loyalty pledge before firing him.