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FORMER FBI AGENT AND GOP CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ROBERT TURKAVAGE CALLS FOR FORMER INTELLIGENCE AGENCY STAFFING ON HOUSE PERMANENT SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE

Today, Robert Turkavage, Republican Candidate for the United States House of Representatives, New Jersey District Two, issues the following statement in regard to captioned matter:
Over the last several months, the FBI has been repeatedly criticized for its handling of the investigations of the Clinton Foundation and Russian meddling into the 2016 Presidential Election. Additional impetus for criticism of the FBI resulted from the firings of FBI Director James Comey, and Deputy Director Andy McCabe, as well as the inclusion of certain information in FISA applications/renewals which originated from the now infamous Steele dossier. While all the facts related to these actions are not known at this time, two conclusions can be drawn with relative certainty. First, statements by the Administration, members of Congress, the media, and the public have had a deleterious effect on the reputation of the FBI. Second, this condition has been exacerbated by the actions of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), whose members offered separate partisan reports on FBI actions related to the Russian meddling investigation.

While the reputational damage that has been done to the FBI will be difficult to repair, certain measures can be undertaken on a going forward basis to limit this type of criticism in the future. One obvious place to start would be to staff the HPSCI, at least in part, with former members of the intelligence community (IC) who have intimate knowledge of the functioning of the institutions whose activities are subject to HPSCI oversight. HPSCI currently has 22 members (13 Republican, 9 Democrat) and has primary oversight responsibility for the US Intelligence Community. Of the 22 members, one member, Will Hurd, was employed by the CIA for less than 10 years. Three other members Adam Schiff, Trey Gowdy, and Tom Rooney, have federal prosecutorial experience. The remaining 18 members have no prior intelligence experience nor federal prosecutorial experience.

Staffing the HPSCI, in part, with former IC members would benefit the Committee in several ways. First, former IC members could assist the HPSCI in identifying spurious allegations not worthy of the Committee’s attention. Second, former IC members could assist in identifying legitimate oversight issues warranting HPSCI’s attention, possibly while the issues are still in a nascent state. Third, the IC members’ investigative experience hopefully would promote logical and thorough investigations by the committee. Finally, the IC members could prevail upon other committee members to issue reports that are complete, factually supported, and devoid of partisan rancor.

Should I prevail in the Primary Election in June, and in the General Election in November, I will attempt to obtain a seat on the HPSCI. I believe that my prior extensive experience with the FBI qualifies me to sit on that Committee.


Committee to Elect Robert Turkavage
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