Amid the Justice Department’s ongoing probe into the Russia collusion investigation and the alleged surveillance abuses it entailed, FBI Director Christopher Wray has tapped former law firm colleague Jason Jones to serve as the bureau’s next general counsel, an agency representative confirmed to the Washington Examiner.
Jones will replace now-former FBI General Counsel Dana Boente, who resigned in May and left the FBI at the end of June after facing staunch criticism for his role in the unfounded Russian collusion investigation against candidate-turned-President Donald Trump.
FBI’s revolving door
The Examiner noted that Wray and Jones worked together previously at King & Spaulding LLP, a firm in which Jones was a partner.
Interestingly, that same law firm is also now the professional home of two lawyers who both temporarily served as acting attorneys general in the Trump administration, namely Sally Yates and Rod Rosenstein.
Newsmax reported that Jones, who will now be the top lawyer in the FBI, will begin his new role at some point in August.
Jones does possess some prior experience as a federal prosecutor, having previously served in Brooklyn, New York, where he was focused on international terrorism and money laundering cases at a supervisory level.
He also reportedly served in Washington, D.C. as part of unit that investigated private businesses over alleged bribes paid to foreign government officials.
Clean up or coverup?
As general counsel at the FBI, Jones will provide some measure of oversight to all of the bureau’s legal affairs. Currently, that means cooperating with the ongoing criminal probe led by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the FBI’s anti-Trump investigations both before and after the 2016 election.
It also entails involvement in an ongoing review begun by Wray in response to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s bombshell report documenting extensive abuse of the FISA warrant processes by the FBI.
Of particular interest are the “material errors and omissions” in the warrants obtained to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page, which were renewed multiple times and — coincidentally enough — were approved separately by both Yates and Rosenstein.
At this point, it remains unclear at this point in time whether the hiring of Jones for the general counsel role at the FBI is a good or bad thing.
To be sure, it is possible that he will be there to help former colleague Wray with some overdue house cleaning and internal reforms, but given his high-level connections to certain “swampy” characters, there are legitimate concerns that he could also simply be extending a “deep state” coverup of past misdeeds, and as such, we’ll all just have to watch closely to see what happens next.