I wasn’t a bigshot at the FBI but I did work at headquarters for three years; technically it was the director’s office and I did have a top secret clearance. The background check was extensive. My title was survey statistician.
Mostly what I did was sit around reading news clippings. My boss, a section head, didn’t want to do it so they came to me. It was a couple times a week and I think they covered every time the FBI was mentioned in the national press. It was photocopied and stapled and “back then” it really was a cut and paste of the press.
The other thing I remember doing a lot of was playing around on the computer, I mean THE computer. That’s where I learned SAS and spent time entering numbers for an entirely self-directed research project. It was slow and sleepy and you could do things like that. Finally, I remember the dorms at Quantico, and the behavioral sciences unit.
The real power and budgets I was close to were in big companies. I don’t know how it happened but it did happen–primary (I know less about secondary) research was always shielded. In fine print, organizationally, we were always connected to someone really high up or even, in a dotted-line way, even the president. I did some important work and people knew me and respected my opinion and the research. SAME GOES with big research companies. Never in my entire career did I receive a call from anyone asking me to change anything or edit anything.
So on to Mr. Comey. It may be something worth fighting for.