DOJ Declines to Prosecute FBI Agent IG Says Received Money from Former Source, Protected Source’s Illegal Business, Provided False Info to Police, and Misused FBI Assets for Personal Gain

Terence P. Jeffrey | August 21, 2018 | 1:53pm EDT
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James Comey taking the oath at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing to become FBI director, July 9, 2013. (FBI photo)

( - The Department of Justice has declined to prosecute an FBI special agent whom the department’s inspector general determined had received money from a former FBI confidential human source, had protected that source’s illegal business, had provided false information to a local police department and had misused FBI assets for personal gain.

The inspector general referred this FBI agent’s case to the Department of Justice but DOJ would not prosecute.

“Criminal prosecution of the SA was declined,” the IG said in a publicly released summary of the investigation.

DOJ declined to respond to questions that asked it about this case.

“We don’t comment on referrals,” a DOJ spokesperson said.

The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice released its “investigative summary” of the case on Aug. 6.

“The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Inspector General (OIG) initiated an investigation upon receipt of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Inspection Division alleging that an FBI Special Agent had an inappropriate relationship with a former FBI Confidential Human Source (CHS), including receiving money and other items of value from the CHS,” said the IG summary.

“The OIG investigation substantiated allegations that the SA received gifts, including money and items of value from the CHS, in violation of federal regulations regarding standards of conduct for federal employees and FBI policy,” the summary said.

“The OIG further found,” the summary continued, “that the SA: continued to use the CHS after the CHS had been deactivated by the FBI; protected the CHS and the CHS’s illegal business; misused FBI assets for personal gain; and committed computer security violations, all in violation of federal regulation and FBI policy.

“The OIG also found,” the summary said, “that the SA improperly withheld information related to a state criminal investigation from local police department, and provided false information to the police department regarding the CHS’s status as an FBI CHS, which actions were wholly inconsistent with the SA’s obligations as a federal law enforcement officer.

“The OIG also found that the SA lacked candor with the FBI and the OIG, in violation of FBI policy,” said the summary.

“Criminal prosecution of the SA was declined,” it said.

The screen capture below from the DOJ IG's "investigative summary" of an FBI agent's behavior outlines the actions the IG determined the FBI agent had taken and notes that criminal prosecution of the case was declined.

The summary concluded: “The OIG completed its investigation and provided its report to the FBI for appropriate action.” asked DOJ four questions about this case. They were:

1—Why did the Department of Justice decline to prosecute the FBI agent whose actions are described in this August 6 investigative summary from the … Inspector General?

2—Who decided that the Department of Justice should not prosecute this FBI agent?

3—Is this FBI agent still employed by the FBI?

4—Does this FBI agent currently have a security clearance?

In a previous case reported by on May 23, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice explained that when the inspector general “develops reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal criminal law,” the law requires the IG to refer the case to a federal prosecutor. The prosecutor then decides whether to accept or decline the case.

“When the IG develops reasonable grounds to believe there has been a violation of Federal criminal law, the IG is required by the IG Act to refer the matter to a prosecutor,” a DOJ spokesperson said then.

“The IG presents their cases directly to the prosecuting offices, and the prosecutors make the decisions about whether to accept or decline cases for prosecution,” said the spokesperson. “Those decisions are made looking at the law and the facts.”

“The process by which a particular prosecuting office is chosen varies, and is primarily determined by the location where the alleged offense occurred, i.e., the proper venue for a prosecution,” said the spokesperson. “There are instances in which the Department, through the ODAG [Office of the Deputy Attorney General], determines to what USAO [U.S. Attorney Office] we present our case, i.e., when a particular office may have a conflict and needs to be recused from handling the case.” asked the FBI if it had taken any action in the case of the FBI special agents cited in the IG’s report and, if so, what that action was.

“As this is an ongoing personnel matter, we decline to comment,” an FBI spokesperson responded.



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