Two former law enforcement colleagues said Mr. Humphries was a solid agent with experience in counterterrorism, conservative political views and a reputation for aggressiveness.
“Fred is a passionate kind of guy,” said one former colleague. “He’s kind of an obsessive type. If he locked his teeth onto something, he’d be a bulldog.”
Mr. Humphries passed on Ms. Kelley’s complaint to the cybersquad in the Tampa field office but was not assigned to the case. He was later admonished by supervisors who thought he was trying to insert himself improperly into the investigation.
Convinced that the case was being stalled for political reasons, Mr. Humphries in late October contacted Representative Dave Reichert, a Republican from Washington State, where the F.B.I. agent had worked previously, to inform him of the case. Mr. Reichert put him in touch with the House majority leader, Eric Cantor, who passed the message to the F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III.