- FBI chief of staff Jim Rybicki, who served under former FBI director James Comey and current director Christopher Wray, has resigned.
- Rybicki became a target of Republican criticism last year for his role in helping craft a memo that exonerated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the investigation into her use of a private email server.
FBI chief of staff Jim Rybicki, who served under former FBI director James Comey and current director Christopher Wray, has resigned, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.
In a Tuesday statement, Wray said that Rybicki, who has served in several senior Justice Department roles since 2001, is leaving the bureau voluntarily to take a job in the private sector and was not fired from his FBI role.
“Jim Rybicki notified me last month that he will be leaving the FBI to accept an opportunity in the corporate sector,” Wray said in a statement. “While this is an exciting move for the whole Rybicki family, Jim will be dearly missed by the FBI family – and by me personally.”
Rybicki became a target of Republican criticism for his role in helping craft a memo that exonerated Hillary Clinton in the investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state. He answered questions from members of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees last week concerning his work on the Clinton investigation and on Comey’s claims that President Donald Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty before firing him last year.
Rybicki will be replaced by Zachary Harmon, a white-collar lawyer who worked closely with Wray at the law firm King & Spalding.
Wray reportedly threatened to resign after being pressured by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to fire deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, according to three sources cited in an Axios report on Monday.
Sessions reportedly pressured Wray to oust McCabe and former general counsel James Baker in order to create a “fresh start” at the FBI.
McCabe, who became the acting FBI director after Trump fired Comey last May, drew Trump’s ire as the Trump-Russia investigation gained traction with the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!” Trump tweeted last July, referring to the FBI’s investigation into Clinton.
McCabe’s wife, Dr. Jill McCabe, did not receive money from Clinton, as Trump claimed. During an unsuccessful run for Senate in Virginia, her campaign received $675,000 from the Virginia Democratic Party and a super PAC operated by Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is a Clinton supporter. McCabe received no money from Clinton or her family.
David Choi contributed to this report.