Senior FBI official Jeffrey Tricoli has left his position overseeing a government task force that’s been looking into Russian interference in U.S. elections, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Tricoli, who had been at the FBI for 18 years, reportedly left last month to take a job with Charles Schwab Corp.
His departure raises questions about how the government plans to address the issue of election meddling, particularly with the midterm elections less than four months away.
Tricoli did not respond to requests for comment by the Journal.
News of his exit comes just days after special counsel Robert Muellerindicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for allegedly conspiring to influence the 2016 presidential election by hacking U.S. systems.
FBI Director Christopher Wray convened the foreign influence task forcelast year, telling lawmakers he wanted to “get ahead” of Russian interference in upcoming elections.
“Needless to say, I take any effort to interfere with our election system by Russia or any other nation state or any non-nation state extremely seriously because it strikes right at the heart of who we are as a country,” Wray said at the time. “We’re focused very much forward-looking at the next couple of election cycles.”
The task force’s responsibilities include coordinating activities between the FBI and state, federal and private organizations, according to the Journal. However, sources told the Journal that the group has not made much progress.
“So far there has not been a lot of substance yet from the task force,” a congressional intelligence panel staffer told the Journal.
BY EMILY BIRNBAUM – 07/16/18