The FBI’s reputation has taken a major hit this past year.
Not one, but two major FBI leaders have been fired over accusations of misconduct—but the conspiracy may not stop there.
There have also been a slew of leaks from the Bureau this year, and now a larger conspiracy is starting to take shape.
A bombshell Inspector General report that was just released revealed that several FBI agents actually received gifts from reporters, which could land the Bureau in the middle of another investigation.
Critics point out that journalists bribing sources for information is a massive scandal and the identities of the guilty parties should be made public.
They also argue that a broad investigation is necessary because FBI agents accepting these perks may be in violation of federal gift-giving rules.
The gifts in question included anything from tickets to sporting events, elaborate outings, drinks and meals, and special treatment.
The Inspector General’s report reads:
“We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.”
There are special rules for giving gifts to government officials that must be followed – particularly those in the executive branch.
These rules must be followed exactly – and failure to do so is not an option.
The U.S. Office of Government Ethics cites:
“Executive branch employees may not solicit or accept gifts that are given because of their official positions or that come from certain interested sources (‘prohibited sources’).”
Those prohibited sources are defined as people who are either interested in getting special treatment or special favors in return for gifts — gifts that could be considered a form of bribery.
The government officials involved certainly fall under these regulations, but it is unknown whether or not the reporters involved will be held accountable as well.
Violations of both the gift-giving regulations and anti-corruption laws may result in convictions related to fraud for these agents.
Criminal charges aside, the fact that media correspondents provided these unauthorized exchanges of gifts means they too should be held accountable.
Former FBI Director James Comey was eventually held accountable by President Trump after he led a disaster of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email misconducts but was not held accountable for far too many issues in the Bureau before that under Obama.
Similarly, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was caught lying to federal officials and during testimonies on several occasions—destroying not only his credibility but the credibility of the agency as well.
While President Trump has been cracking down on misconduct found in any Executive Branch agencies, it seems the FBI has been one of the most mismanaged and troublesome to regulate.
These newfound breaches in protocol are seemingly just the tip of the iceberg, and clearly, a more strict regulation is in order—and new leadership for the Bureau.
What do you think of the possible breach of federal gift-giving regulations in relation to leaked information on the part of the FBI? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.