As we continue uncovering details of the coup against President Trump by top Obama/Deep State officials, we’ve also noted the FBI and DOJ are still slow-rolling the release of information about the scandal.
So, frustratingly slowly – but surely – we’re getting piece after piece of the Obamagate puzzle.
We received another batch of emails, 136 pages, between former FBI official Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page. They include heavily redacted emails showing Strzok, Page and top bureau officials in the days prior to and following President Donald Trump’s inauguration discussing a White House counterintelligence briefing that could “play into” the FBI’s “investigative strategy.”
On January 19, 2017, the night before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a series of emails were exchanged among top officials in the FBI’s General Counsel’s office, Counterintelligence Division and Washington Field Office, and included then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap.
The thread was initiated at 3:29 p.m. on January 19 by an assistant general counsel in the FBI’s National Security Law Branch in an email to Strzok with an almost entirely redacted email in which the person said, “I’ll give Trisha/Baker a heads up too.” Strzok’s reply is redacted, as is the response to Strzok. Strzok then says at 7:04 p.m., “I briefed Bill this afternoon and he was trying without success to reach the DD [McCabe]. I will forward below to him as his [sic] changes the timeline. What’s your recommendation?” The Counterintelligence Division official’s reply to Strzok is mostly redacted, except for “Approved by tomorrow afternoon is the request. [Redacted] – please advise if I am missing something.” An unidentified official replies, “[Redacted], Bill is aware and willing to jump in when we need him.” At 8 p.m., Strzok responds (copying officials in the Counterintelligence Division, Washington Field Office and General Counsel’s office), “Just talked with Bill. [Redacted]. Please relay above to WFO and [redacted] tonight, and keep me updated with plan for meet and results of same. Good luck.” Strzok then forwards the whole email exchange to Lisa Page, saying, “Bill spoke with Andy. [Redacted.] Here we go again …”
On January 21, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration, Strzok forwarded to Lisa Page and a redacted person an email he’d sent that day to Priestap, asking them to “not forward/share.” In the email to Priestap, Strzok said, “I heard from [redacted] about the WH CI briefing routed from [redacted]. I am angry that Jen did not at least cc: me, as my branch has pending investigative matters there, this brief may play into our investigative strategy, and I would like the ability to have visibility and provide thoughts/counsel to you in advance of the briefing. This is one of the reasons why I raised the issue of lanes/responsibilities that I did when you asked her to handle WH detailee interaction.”
Also, on January 21, 2017, Strzok wrote largely the same message he’d sent to Priestap directly to his counterintelligence colleague Jennifer Boone.
We received the records in our January 2018 FOIA lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 2017 request for all communications between Strzok and Page (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)).
The FBI has only processed emails at a rate of 500 pages per month and has yet to process text messages. At this rate, the production of these communications, which still number around 8,000 pages, would not be completed until at least late 2021.
In other emails, Strzok comments on reporting on the anti-Trump dossier authored by Hillary Clinton’s paid operative Christopher Steele.
In a January 2017 email, Strzok takes issue with a UK Independent report that claimed Steele had suspected there was a “cabal” within the FBI that put the Clinton email investigation above the Trump-Russia probe. Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent, was at the heart of both the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations.
In April and June of 2017, the FBI would use the dossier as key evidence in obtaining FISA warrants to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. In a declassified summary of a Department of Justice assessment of the warrants that was released by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in January of this year, it was determined that those two applications to secretly monitor Page lacked probable cause.
The newly released records include a January 11, 2017, email from Strzok to Lisa Page, Priestap, andDeputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Jon Moffa, a New York Times report that refers to the dossier as containing “unsubstantiated accounts” and “unproven claims.” In the email, Strzok comments on the article, calling it “Pretty good reporting.”
On January 14, 2017, FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan forwards to Strzok, Page and Priestap a link to a UK Independent article entitled “Former MI6 Agent Christopher Steele’s Frustration as FBI Sat On Donald Trump Russia File for Months”.
The article, citing security sources, notes that, “Steele became increasingly frustrated that the FBI was failing to take action on the intelligence from others as well as him. He came to believe there was a cover-up: that a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr Trump, focusing instead on the investigation into Clinton’s emails.”
Strzok responds: “Thanks Mike. Of course not accurate [the cover-up/cabal nonsense]. Is that question gaining traction anywhere else?”
The records also include a February 10, 2017, email from Strzok to Page mentioning then-national security adviser Michael Flynn (five days before Flynn resigned) and includes a photo of Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Strzok also makes a joke about how McCabe had fat shamed Kislyak.
On February 8, 2017, Strzok, under the subject “RE: EO on Economic Espionage,” emailed Lisa Page, saying, “Please let [redacted] know I talked to [redacted]. Tonight, he approached Flynn’s office and got no information.” Strzok was responding to a copy of an email Page had sent him. The email, from a redacted FBI official to Deputy Director McCabe read: “OPS has not received a draft EO on economic espionage. Instead, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce advised OPS that they received a draft, but they did not send us the draft. I’ll follow up with our detailees about this EO.” Flynn resigned on February 13, 2017.
On January 26, 2017, Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Inspection Division emailed Strzok and Priestap with the subject line “Leak,” saying, “Tried calling you but the phones are forwarded to SIOC. I got the tel call report, however [redacted]. Feel free to give me a call if I have it wrong.” Strzok forwarded the McNamara email to Lisa Page and an unidentified person in the General Counsel’s office, saying, “Need to talk to you about how to respond to this.”
On January 11, 2017, Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff emailed Kortan, saying he’d learned that Steele had worked for the Bureau’s Eurasian organized crime section and had turned over the dossier on Trump-Russian “collusion” to the bureau in Rome. Kortan forwards Isikoff’s email to aide Richard Quinn, who forwards to Strzok “just for visibility”. Strzok forwards to his boss, Priestap and Moffa, saying, “FYI, [redacted], you or I should probably inform [redacted]. How’s your relationship with him? Bill unless you object, I’ll let Parmaan [presumably senior FBI official Bryan Paarmann] know.” Strzok forwards the whole exchange on to Lisa Page.
On January 18, 2017, reporter Peter Elkind of ProPublica reached out to Kortan, asking to interview Strzok, Michael Steinbach, Jim Baker, Priestap, former FBI Director James Comey and DEA administrator Chuck Rosenberg for a story Elkind was working on. Kortan replied, “Okay, I will start organizing things.” Further along in the thread, an FBI Press Office official reached out to an FBI colleague for assistance with the interviews, saying Steinbach had agreed to a “background discussion” with Elkind, who was “writing the ‘definitive’ account of what happened during the Clinton investigation, specifically, Comey’s handling of the investigation, seeking to reconstruct and explain in much greater detail what he did and why he did it.” In May 2017, Elkind wrote an article titled “The Problems With the FBI’s Email Investigation Went Well Beyond Comey,” which in light of these documents, strongly suggests many FBI officials leaked to the publication.
Strzok ended up being scheduled to meet with Elkind at 9:30 a.m. on January 31, 2017, before an Elkind interview of Comey’s chief of staff Jim Rybicki. Elkind’s reporting on the Clinton email investigation was discussed at length in previous emails obtained by Judicial Watch.
These documents suggest that President Trump was targeted by the Comey FBI as soon as he stepped foot in the Oval Office. And now we see how the Comey FBI was desperate to spin, through high-level leaks, its mishandling of the Clinton email investigation.
And, in a continuing outrage, it should be noted that Wray’s FBI and Barr’s DOJ continue slow walking the release of thousands of Page-Strzok emails – which means the remaining 8,000 pages of records won’t be reviewed and released until 2021-2022!
Here’s a brief history of our investigation of the FBI’s anti-Trump campaign.
In February 2020, we uncovered an August 2016 email in which Strzok says that Clinton, in her interview with the FBI about her email controversy, apologized for “the work and effort” it caused the bureau and she said she chose to use it “out of convenience” and that “it proved to be anything but.” Strzok said Clinton’s apology and the “convenience” discussion were “not in” the FBI 302 report that summarized the interview.
Also in February, we made public Strzok-Page emails showing their direct involvement in the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the bureau’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. The records also show additional “confirmed classified emails” were found on Clinton’s unsecure non-state.gov email server “beyond the number presented” in then-FBI Director James Comey’s statements; Strzok and Page questioning the access the DOJ was granting Clinton’s lawyers; and Page revealing that the DOJ was making edits to FBI 302 reports related to the Clinton Midyear Exam investigation. The emails detail a discussion about “squashing” an issue related to the Seth Rich controversy.
In January 2020, we uncovered Strzok-Page emails that detail special accommodations given to the lawyers of Clinton and her aides during the FBI investigation of the Clinton email controversy.
In November 2019, we revealed Strzok-Page emails that show the attorney representing three of Clinton’s aides were given meetings with senior FBI officials.
Also in November, we uncovered emails revealing that after Clinton’s statement denying the transmission of classified information over her unsecure email system, Strzok sent an email to FBI officials citing “three [Clinton email] chains” containing (C) [classified] portion marks in front of paragraphs.”
In a related case, in May 2020, we received the “electronic communication” (EC) that officially launched the counterintelligence investigation, termed “Crossfire Hurricane,” of President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The document was written by former FBI official Peter Strzok.
As you can see, your Judicial Watch is compiling the history, over the grievous obstruction by the Deep State, of the gravest political scandal in our nation’s history.
The Pentagon Is Indoctrinating Our Troops With Racist, Anti-American Propaganda
President Obama had little regard for our military, except when he could force it to undergo brainwashing with leftist dogma, as we reported in 2016. At that time, 400 soldiers in the 67thSignal Battalion at Fort Gordon, Georgia, were subjected to a “white privilege” briefing.
This kind of thing hasn’t stopped. In fact, it’s gotten worse. We have obtained 1,483 pages of teaching materials and 26 pages of budget records from the Defense Department produced by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI) that are used by DOD’s “equal opportunity advisors” to train service members on diversity topics. We received these documents in response to our FOIA request.
You may have a hard time believing this.
The teaching materials include “Student Study Guides” written for “Equal Opportunity Advisor Courses,” that are critical of persons who “believe that human similarities are more important than differences;” advise people to acknowledge their privilege when “it is pointed out to them;” claim that heterosexuals have “sexual orientation privilege;” and that “religious privilege” exists.
According the Defense Department Comptroller’s office, DEOMI and WRP (Workforce Recruitment Program) now jointly make up an entity called the Defense Management Operations Center (DMOC) and that entity was budgeted $13,366,000 for FY2020.
- The newly released records include a chapter entitled “Power and Privilege,” in which students are taught that, “Privilege can also be linked to various forms of identity such as … sexual orientation privilege” and “religious privilege.”
- Students are also taught that there is “sexual orientation privilege” associated with the “marginalization of non-heterosexual lifestyles and the view that heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation.”
- The guide advises that “some dominant group members” may claim “personal achievement mostly depends on personal ability.”
- The study guide also teaches that people who raise religious objections to homosexual marriage are engaged in a form of discrimination called “principium,” which is “avoiding exploration based on a religious or personal principle:”
- In order to “become personally aware of privilege,” the study guide advises people to “decode your social identity.”
- In a chapter on diversity, the guide is critical of those who engage in “minimization,” which it defines as those who believe that “human similarities are more important than differences.”
- The guide notes that, “Statistics show Whites are the majority in senior leadership positions (i.e., flag officers, general officers, and Senior Executive Service) and lend itself [sic] to the perpetuation of racism.”
- An example of “modern racism” is saying things like “Discrimination is a thing of the past … tactics and demands of activists are unfair … racism is bad.”
- The document also states that another form of racism is “aversive racism.” Aversive racists, say the authors, “put high value on egalitarian beliefs.”
- In a chart labeled “Racist Behavior” the authors break racism into “traditional,” “symbolic,” “modern” and “aversive” categories, in which modern racists believe minorities are “undeserving of special efforts to redress past inequities.” The chart also indicates that people who oppose “policies designed to address racial equality” or feel that those policies are violations of “norms and fairness” are modern racists.
- After cautioning against using stereotypes in previous study sections, the study section on Asian Americans says, “Self-control, discipline, competitiveness, and education are important elements in Japanese-American culture.”
- A warning footer at the bottom of the trainer’s guides, repeated throughout the document advises “FOR TRAINING PURPOSES ONLY – DO NOT USE ON THE JOB.” [Emphasis in original]
- Students are encouraged to: “Talk to others about your recognized inferior socialized behavior.”
- In a learning bloc on “Perceptions” equal opportunity advisors are told that, “stereotypes are bad if they lead to discrimination of protected categories.”
- A section addressing “Cross-Cultural Communication” states: “Gender includes the social construction of masculinity and femininity within a culture and incorporates his or her biological, psychological, and sociological characteristics. Sex refers to a person’s biological or physical self. Although sex determines who will bear children, gender accounts for our roles in life and how these life roles affect our communication.”
- The section also claims that in childhood gender communication: “Girls are told to use their manners, play quietly, and be ladylike,” it is “okay for boys to use rough language, play loudly, and be rambunctious. Girls are allowed to show feelings.”
- After warning readers about the dangers of stereotypes, the manual then says women communicate “stereotypically … using a passive/assertive style,” whereas men communicate “stereotypically” by “using an assertive/aggressive style in efforts to accomplish tasks, achieve status, and dominate the conversation.”
- The guide breaks Americans down into four generational types: “Traditionalists,” “Baby Boomers,” “Generation X” and “Millennials” and characterizes their personalities by group. It says “Xers” born between 1960-1980 “need positive feedback to let them know they’re on the right track,” and Millennials born between 1980-2000 “are used to praise and may mistake silence for disapproval. They need to know what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Feedback whenever I want it at the push of a button.”
- A section on “Sexual orientation privilege” includes the view that this group believes “heterosexuality is the normal sexual orientation,” and that “sexual and marital relations are normal only when between people of different sexes.”
- The guide notes that transsexual, transgender and sometimes homosexual populations are denied “freedom enjoyed by heterosexual couples.”
- The guide advises Equal Opportunity Advisors to: “Acknowledge your privilege when it is pointed out to you.” They are also told that, “Privilege will never go away until the systems in our society that cause discrimination go away,” and suggests that the equal opportunity advisors “work to make those inequitable systems visible.”
- In a 15-page study guide on “Extremism,” the guide mentions Nazis, white supremacism, criminal gangs, skinhead groups, the Confederate flag, national anarchists, eco-terrorism, environmental activists, and right-wing extremists. Three pages discuss “skinhead culture.”
- According to a study guide on sexism, killing one’s spouse is an example of sexist behavior (falling under the “extermination” category).
- In a discussion of the history of sexism in the military, the guide claims that, “many women masqueraded as men in order to serve their country” (presumably referring to the United States).
- In a study guide on “Diversity Management,” the authors advise that affirmative action “focuses on prevention and/or correcting discriminatory practices concerned with numbers of minorities and women. It is an attempt to rectify past discrimination against certain groups of people.” In the next paragraph, the authors write: “Service members shall be evaluated only on merit, fitness, and capability. Unlawful discrimination against individuals or groups based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is contrary to good order and discipline and … shall not be condoned.”
- The study guides contain some negative lines against Americans such as, “Many U.S. Americans have widely divergent views on whether a problem even exists.”
- In a study section on “stereotyping,” the authors say that, “Stereotypes may or may not originate in a kennel [sic] of truth …”
- In a study guide section on “White Americans,” the authors say that, “The majority, 35.7 percent, of White Americans are located in the South (U.S Census Bureau, 2010).”
- In a study guide section on Hispanic Americans, the authors describe illegal aliens from Mexico as “undocumented Mexican immigrants.”
These documents show that the Department of Defense has been indoctrinating our troops with anti-American and racially inflammatory “training.” We must protect our military service members from being brainwashed by the divisive, anti-American propaganda fueling the leftist insurrectionists who are right now trying to destroy our country.
Fraud in New Jersey Mail-In Ballots Signals National Trouble
Voter fraud is real and it is more of a risk this election because of crazed efforts by the Left to flood the mails with millions of ballots and ballot appplications. Micah Morrison, chief investigative reporter, reports in his Investigative Bulletinon the ballot fraud uncovered in New Jersey.
Concern over mail-in balloting is rising as the presidential election approaches. Last month, we highlighted California Governor Gavin Newsom’s brazen mail-in ballot scam: an executive order mandating mail-in ballots “to preserve public health in the face of the threat of Covid-19.” Judicial Watch challenged the executive order in federal court, prompting the state legislature to pass a law ensuring that mail-in balloting would take place.
Problems with mail-in, or absentee, balloting are not new. In 2005, the bipartisan Carter-Baker Commission noted that, “absentee ballots remain the largest source of potential voter fraud…. Absentee balloting is vulnerable to abuse in several ways: blank ballots mailed to the wrong address or to a large residential building might get intercepted. Citizens who vote at home, at nursing homes, at the workplace, or in church are more susceptible to pressure, overt and subtle, or to intimidation. Vote buying schemes are far more difficult to detect when citizens vote by mail.”
Now comes news from New Jersey that has election observers worried. In a well-documented case of ballot fraud, the state attorney general charged four men with casting fraudulent mail-in votes, tampering with public records, and falsifying documents. It’s a template for crooked electioneering and perhaps a sign of things to come.
The charges surround city council elections in Paterson—Democratic Party turf and New Jersey’s third largest city, with a $287 million municipal budget. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, like his counterpart in California, issued an executive order authorizing a vote entirely by mail-in ballots. Mark Hemingway of Real Clear Politics reports that problems quickly surfaced after election day. Bundles of ballots appeared in neighborhood mailboxes, raising the suspicions of U.S. Postal Service inspectors. Over 2,300 ballots were disqualified when the signatures appeared to not match voting records. Piles of mail-in ballots were left on the lobby floors of apartment buildings. Reporters tracked down citizens who were listed as having voted but insisted they never even received a ballot. Nearly 20% of the 16,000 ballots were disqualified.
Investigators for the attorney general quickly traced the bogus ballots to two local politicians and their hired hands. City Councilman Michael Jackson and councilman-elect Alex Mendez were charged with election fraud for illegally collecting ballots and tampering with the certification paperwork. Shelim Kalique and Abu Razyen were charged with fraud for improperly collecting ballots. The scheme appears to have been simple: the men collected blank ballots, forged the paperwork and signatures, and submitted fake votes. Read more on the charges here.
The fairy tale among Democrats and the Left is that conservative concerns about election fraud are nothing but attempts to deny voters access to the ballot box. But election fraud should be a bipartisan concern. As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Congresslast month, “if you’re a Leftist Democrat trying to take on an incumbent in a corrupt jurisdiction, voter fraud can keep you from gaining traction.”
Paterson underscores Tom’s argument. It’s a historically corrupt city dominated by Democratic Party politics. The defendants in the ballot fraud case are not criminal masterminds—a closer approximation would be Curly, Moe and Larry—but in a way that’s the point. Ballot fraud is easy.
RCP’s Hemingway reminds us that while Paterson’s municipal balloting has little in common with a national election, the 2016 presidential race was decided “by fewer than 80,000 votes in a handful of swing states.” Paterson demonstrates that the national rush to mail-in balloting has left plenty of room for fraud and error. And that’s a signal of trouble for November.
As you know, Judicial Watch is a leader in efforts to keep elections clean, and you can help us win.
Trump Task Force Dismantling MS-13 Takes Down Gang’s Key Leaders
Given the widespread violence in our streets it is a relief to see President Trump doing what he is famous for: solving a problem. This one had to do with the barbarian gang known as MS-13. Our Corruption Chronicles blog has the story.
Some good news for a change. A special task force launched by President Donald Trump to gut the nation’s deadliest street gang has taken down key leaders in less than a year and for the first time charged a gang banger with terrorism-related offenses. The feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), has spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes. The Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) says criminal street gangs like MS-13 are responsible for the majority of violent crimes in the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs.
Thanks to Barack Obama’s open border policies, MS-13 was energized with new recruits provided by a steady flow of illegal immigrant minors. When the Obama administration started welcoming a barrage of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in 2014, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including MS-13 and the 18th Street gang—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the minors. The Texas Department of Public Safety subsequently confirmed that the MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state under Obama’s disastrous program, which saw over 60,000 illegal immigrants—many with criminal histories—storm into the U.S. in a matter of months. Tens of thousands more have entered since then.
President Trump vowed to crush the famously savage MS-13 and shortly after taking office issued an Executive Order directing several agencies, including the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, to coordinate an effort to restore safety for the American people by extinguishing transitional criminal organizations such as MS-13. The order states that the criminal groups have spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens. “These organizations derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct, including acts of violence and abuse that exhibit a wanton disregard for human life,” the order says. “They, for example, have been known to commit brutal murders, rapes, and other barbaric acts. These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery.” The president gives federal agencies 120 days to report progress in combating the criminal organizations as well as recommended actions for dismantling them.
In August 2019 Attorney General William Barr launched an initiative known as Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV) to address MS-13 with a coordinated force of federal law enforcement agencies and the Department of Justice (DOJ). JTFV has increased collaboration with foreign law enforcement partners, including in El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala; designated priority MS-13 programs, cliques and leaders, who have the most impact on the U.S., for targeted prosecutions, and; coordinated significant MS-13 indictments in U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country, such as New York, Virginia and Nevada. Less than a year after its formation, the task force has recorded big successes. This week the DOJ announced a number of significant JTFV cases, including for the first time an MS-13 member being charged with terrorism-related offenses, the take down of the MS-13 Hollywood leadership and the Attorney General’s decision to seek the death penalty against an MS-13 operative. JTFV Director John Durham calls it the result of tremendous teamwork between prosecutors and law enforcement officers across the United States and Central America.
The cases announced this week include an indictment against a high-ranking MS-13 operative, Melgar Diaz, in Virginia. Diaz is charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, conspiring to kill or maim persons overseas, conspiring to commit acts of terrorism transcending national boundaries, conspiring to finance terrorism, and; conspiring to engage in narco-terrorism, in addition to racketeering conspiracy and drug trafficking. In another case eight MS-13 members were indicted in New York for committing six murders, two attempted murders, kidnapping, narcotics felonies and related firearms offenses. In Nevada 13 MS-13 gang bangers, including leaders of the “Hollywood Locos” clique and “Los Angeles Program” were charged with multiple counts of narcotics distribution and weapons crimes. The task force is also responsible for the indictment in New York of Alexi Saenz, an MS-13 leader accused of committing seven murders, including two high school students with a machete and baseball bat. “MS-13 is a violent transnational criminal organization, whose criminal activities respect no boundaries,” said Durham, the JTFV director. “The only way to defeat MS-13 is by targeting the organization as a whole, focusing on the leadership structure, and deploying a whole-of-government approach against a common enemy.”
Does it really take the President of the United States to clean up street crime?
Yet Another Top FBI Official Embroiled in Sexual Misconduct Scandal
The “sick man” of federal law enforcement, the FBI, too often seems like Peyton Place, as our Corruption Chroniclesblog informs us:
Besides its infamy for failing to protect the U.S. from terrorist attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is gaining quite a reputation as a hotbed of sexual misconduct among its upper ranks. Perhaps that is why the “intelligence-driven and threat-focused national security organization”with a staff of 30,000 agents, analysts and other professionals has been derelict in its duties for decades. Remember that the FBI’s well-documented transgressions culminated in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in 2001. Since then, the agency, which is also charged with protecting the nation from espionage, cyber attacks and other major criminal threats, has struggled to do its job and it has cost dozens of American lives. The critical lapses have allowed homegrown violent extremists to carry out more than 20 attacks in the U.S. since 9/11, some of them after the agency closed counterterrorism investigations of the attackers.
In the meantime, the FBI has been singled out repeatedly for sexual misconduct among high-level officials, including a unit chief, special agent in charge and supervisory intelligence analyst. Just a few days ago, the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General (DOJ OIG) issued an investigative summary of misconduct by an FBI Unit Chief (UC) for engaging in an improper, intimate relationship with a subordinate and failing to disclose it as per agency policy. The unit chief, who is not identified, was directly involved in the lover’s promotion while the secret relationship was ongoing and helped the lover get certain work assignments and travel opportunities, also in violation of FBI policy. “The FBI UC’s conduct violated federal ethics regulations regarding impartiality,” according to the DOJ IG, which further reveals that the unit chief has since retired. The document does not mention if there were any consequences for the high-ranking FBI official, but it seems to indicate that the serious violations are water under the bridge because the official is no longer at the beleaguered agency.
Three other cases were also made public by the agency watchdog in recent months, though the offenders are never identified. In May, a former FBI section chief and Special Agent in Charge (SAC) was exposed for sexually harassing multiple employees, failure to report an intimate relationship with a subordinate and lack of candor. Investigators found that the “SAC sexually harassed six subordinate employees while serving as the SAC and two subordinate employees while serving in a previous position as a Section Chief at FBI Headquarters, failed to report an intimate relationship with a subordinate, engaged in actions following the end of that relationship that created a hostile work environment for the subordinate, and lacked candor during the SAC’s interview with the OIG, all in violation of FBI policy,” according to a report made public in late May. The investigation also determined that the SAC violated the DOJ’s zero tolerance policy involving sexual harassment.
Two other cases were made public in April, one involving an FBI assistant director and the other a supervisory intelligence analyst. The assistant director got busted for seeking an improper intimate relationship with a subordinate, sexual harassment and related misconduct, according to a DOJ IG bulletin issued on April 21. Investigators found that the assistant director violated FBI policy by pursuing an “improper intimate relationship” with a subordinate after inappropriately touching the subordinate following an after-work happy hour event. The probe also determined that the high-ranking official “violated FBI policies related to sexual harassment and unprofessional conduct off-duty, as well as DOJ’s zero tolerance policy with respect to harassment, in making unwelcomed and unwanted sexual advances on the subordinate.” The report further reveals that the assistant director violated FBI policy by failing to properly secure a firearm inside his or her vehicle. As in several other cases of wrongdoing the assistant director has conveniently retired. About a week earlier, an FBI Supervisory Intelligence Analyst (SIA) was dismissed for knowingly possessing child pornography.In late 2019, the DOJ OIG blasted an “FBI senior official”for failing to report an intimate relationship with a subordinate and violating the FBI’s ethics policy by participating in decisions regarding the subordinate’s promotion.
The cases mark a lot of activity at the Bureau in less than a year. To be fair, sexual misconduct appears to be a broad problem at various DOJ agencies, not just the FBI. Earlier this year the agency’s watchdog issued a management advisory identifying concerns in the handling of supervisor-subordinate relationships across DOJ components. “In the recent past, the OIG has noted an increase in the number of allegations it has received and subsequently investigated regarding allegedly inappropriate relationships between high-level supervisors and subordinates in several different components,” the document states. In the advisory the FBI’s policy is described as prohibiting supervisors from engaging in romantic or intimate relationships with subordinates “if the relationship negatively affects a professional and appropriate superior-subordinate relationship or otherwise adversely affects the FBI mission.”
Does anyone in FBI have time to fight crime or terrorism or spies?
Until next week,