IG: DOJ Declined to Prosecute Deputy Assistant Director of FBI Who Made Illegal Leak to Media

By CNSNews.com Staff | May 31, 2019 | 12:19 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

(CNSNews.com) - The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Justice says that the department declined to prosecute a deputy assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who made an illegal leak to the media.

In announcing that DOJ had declined to prosecuted this unnamed high-ranking FBI official, the inspector general also said that the case in question had been referenced in the IG’s earlier report on the FBI’s activities leading up to the 2016 election.

“The OIG investigation,” said a summary released by the OIG, “concluded that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD: (1) disclosed to the media the existence of information that had been filed under seal in federal court, in violation of 18 USC 401, Contempt of Court; (2) provided without authorization FBI law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on multiple occasions; and (3) had dozens of official contacts with the media without authorization, in violation of FBI policy.”

“This matter,” said the OIG summary, “is among the OIG investigations referenced on page 430 of the OIG’s Review of Allegations Regarding Various Actions by the Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Advance of the 2016 Election (June 2018; http://www.justice.gov/file.1071991/download).”

“The OIG also found that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD accepted a ticket, valued at approximately $225, to attend a media-sponsored dinner, as a gift from a member of the media, in violation of federal regulations and FBI policy,” said the summary.

“Prosecution was declined,” said the summary.

Page 430 in the OIG’s report on FBI activities leading up to the 2016 election, which the OIG cited in its summary, is part of a subsection of that report that carries the headline: “Allegations that Department and FBI Employees Improperly Disclosed Non-Public Information.”

“We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered in our review,” the OIG said on page 429 in that subsection of its report on FBI activity before the election.

“In addition to the significant number of communications between FB employees and journalists, we identified social interactions between FBI employees and journalists that were, at a minimum, inconsistent with FBI policy and Department ethics rules,” it said on page 430 of that OIG report.

“For example,” it said, “we identified instances where FBI employees received tickets to sporting events from journalists, went on golfing outing with media representatives, were treated to drinks and meals after work by reporters, and were the guests of journalists at nonpublic social events.”

“We do not believe the problem is with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous,” said page 430 of that OIG report. “Rather, we concluded that these leaks highlight the need to change what appears to be a cultural attitude.”

Here is the text of the OIG's summary:

INVESTIGATIVE SUMMARY

Findings of Misconduct by an FBI Deputy Assistant Director for Unauthorized Contacts with the Media, Disclosing Law Enforcement and Other Sensitive Information to the Media, and Accepting a Gift from the Media

The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated this report upon the receipt of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), alleging that a then FBI Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) had numerous contacts with members of the media in violation of FBI policy. Additionally, it was alleged that the DAD may have disclosed law enforcement or other sensitive information to the media without authorization. This matter is mon the OIG investigations referenced on page 430 of the OIG’s Review of Allegations Regarding Various Actions by the Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Advance of the 2016 Election (June 2018 http://www.justice.gov/file.1071991/download).

The OIG investigation concluded that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD: (1) disclosed to the media the existence of information that had been filed under seal in federal court, in violation of 18 USC 401, Contempt of Court; (2) provided without authorization FBI law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on multiple occasions; and (3) had dozens of official contacts with the media without authorization, in violation of FBI policy.

The OIG also found that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD accepted a ticket, valued at approximately $225, to attend a media-sponsored dinner, as a gift from a member of the media, in violation of federal regulations and FBI policy.

Prosecution was declined.

The OIG has completed its investigation and is providing this report to the FBI for appropriate action.

                                                         _____                                                                            

Unless otherwise noted, the OIG applies the preponderance of evidence standard in determining whether Department of Justice (DOJ) personnel have committed misconduct.

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