A former FBI official accepted gifts from the media and leaked sealed court information to reporters, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found.
According to a summary of a DOJ inspector general’s report released on Wednesday, the former official, who served as a deputy assistant director, accepted a $225 ticket from a reporter to a media-sponsored event.
The official, who was not identified, also allegedly provided sensitive information to reporters on “multiple” occasions without authorization of the bureau.
The official “had dozens of official contacts with the media” in violation of FBI policy, the report alleges.
The inspector general also found that the former official may have been in contempt of court by allegedly disclosing the existence of information that was under a court seal.
The Justice Department declined prosecution of the official.
The investigation is cited in a June 2018 inspector general’s report on the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, said in the previous report that investigators found that “dozens” of FBI employees had contacts with the press.
“The large number of FBI employees who were in contact with journalists during this time period impacted our ability to identify the sources of leaks,” the report said.
The IG also found that a former FBI official lied to investigators about receiving tickets from a reporter to a sports event.
That official, who has also not been identified, initially claimed that he paid the reporter for the tickets, but later admitted he did not.
According to the report:
“The senior FBI official’s conduct violated federal regulations prohibiting federal employees from accepting gifts from prohibited sources, such as members of the media, where, for example, the source seeks official action by the employee’s agency; the source does business or seeks to do business with the employee’s agency; and the source has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties.”
Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, was fired from the bureau on March 16, 2018 after the inspector general found that he had given misleading statements about authorizing contacts with the media in October 2016 regarding an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
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