From Deep Throat to Cigarette Smoking Man, no sensational government conspiracy is complete without a shadowy anonymous government figure. When the story was initially reported, Frederick Humphries role was known, but his name wasn’t. Initially dubbed “Shirtless FBI Guy,” Humphries was the “hard-charging” FBI operative who initially opened the investigation into the harassing emails sent to Jill Kelley by Paula Broadwell, according to the New York Times. Supposedly a friend of the Kelley family, he was Jill Kelley’s first call when she received Broadwell’s alleged email threats.
The 47-year-old veteran agent was reportedly never officially involved with the case — he only took information from Kelley and sent it along. But his role came under scrutiny when initial media reports alleged that shirtless photos of Humphries had been found in Kelley’s email account during the investigation, worrying authorities that Humphries was also playing a role in the tangled web of alleged adultery. But Lawrence Berger, the general counsel for the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association, told the New York Times that the shirtless photos once thought inappropriate were simply a “joke” between the families, who were “social friends” and exchanged numerous photos of each other in any given year. The photo was “not sexual in nature,” he said, and involved Humphries “posing with a couple of dummies.”
When he fielded Kelley’s issue, Humphries was concerned that the investigation would be stalled for political reasons, so he turned to Washington to help with the investigation. Humphries reported the case to Congressman Dave Reichert, a Republican from Washington state, who represents the eastern Seattle suburb where Humphries used to live. Reichert then referred the case along to House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. During his tenure as an FBI agent in Seattle, he was lauded as a counterterrorism expert who played a major role in foiling the terrorist plot of Ahmed Ressam, the al-Qaeda operative better known as the “Millennium Bomber,” who attempted to enter the U.S. through the Washington state border with Canada in 1999.
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