Retired FBI executive decries 'seismic shift' toward politics inside bureau

"You see that some really, really good agents are leaving," said Chris Swecker. "It's no longer the 'Let's just follow the facts.'"

Updated: January 16, 2023 - 11:13pm

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Former FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker is imploring the agency to reverse its drift toward politicization, saying its recent cultural shift is eating away at its mission and public trust.  

"There's been a seismic shift in the culture," he told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show in an interview aired Monday night. "And it kind of got away from me. I saw it coming a little bit under [former Director Robert] Mueller, but it was not that pronounced because Mueller was fighting the fight to keep the FBI together, and he knew he had to make some changes and he had to bring in some outside elements. And it's something that he absolutely had to do."

Swecker said political influence inside the bureau intensified under Mueller's successors, James Comey and Christopher Wray.

"That got out of hand, and then in comes Jim Comey, and he basically parachutes all these DOJ political appointees into the FBI, and slowly the culture shifts over Comey's tenure," he recalled. "And then under Chris Wray, it's accelerated."

Swecker, who led the FBI Criminal Investigative Division during his time as an assistant director, said that as a result of changing the hiring requirements prospective agents are now being selected more on the basis of ideology and idealism rather than their willingness to enforce the rule of law

He also blamed academia for openly indoctrinating American children. 

"I think the type of recruit they're bringing in is more opinionated, more idealistic, more liberal — highly educated, more Ivy League," he said. "And they tend to not just follow the facts. They tend to insert their own ideologies, their own opinions, because the indoctrination that's taking place in the schools these days — if you're virtuous and you're highly educated, you can do everybody else's thinking for them.

"And you can decide that President Trump is not fit to be president, therefore we need to go after him. You can decide that domestic terrorists only exist on the right side of the political aisle, not on the left side of the political aisle. You can pick winners and losers. And that's exactly what is happening inside the FBI."

Swecker concluded by spelling out the consequences of the deepening politicization. 

"You see that some really, really good agents are leaving," he said. "It's no longer the 'Let's just follow the facts.' I'm going to say that's at the highest levels of the FBI, where we have these political appointees parachuting in. But I think it's beginning to sort of percolate down to the street level as well." 

Republicans have launched a series of investigations in the House into whether federal law enforcement has been weaponized, including perceptions that the Biden and Trump classified document controversies have been handled differently.

Trump has decried what he feels is a double standard. When asked Monday about the classified document scandal during an interview with "Real America's Voice" host David Brody, Trump said Biden is engaged in a "coverup." 

"We have a much different situation," Trump said. "I was president. I had the right to declassify as president. A vice president, as you know, you can't do that ... [Biden's] under a very tough constraint ... we have literally a fortress here — you could say it's an armed fortress ... and we were locked, and we were ready, and we had Secret Service ... there at all times." 

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