A former senior FBI official violated agency policy by having unauthorized contacts with the media in the run up to the 2016 presidential election, according to a DOJ investigation.
The story: The findings were released as part of a probe conducted by the Office of the Inspector General at the Department of Justice. The former FBI official, whose identity has not been revealed, had multiple contacts with the media that broke the agency’s rules and accepted unauthorized gifts from members of the media in the period between 2014 and 2016.
In detail: The IOG report found that the former FBI official met reports in an unofficial capacity and accepted tickets from media members to at least two events.
“In addition to substantive communications with reporters, this media contact included unauthorized social engagements outside of FBI Headquarters involving drinks, lunches, and dinners,” the report reads.
“The OIG also found that the Senior FBI Official violated federal regulations and FBI policy when the Senior FBI Official accepted tickets from members of the media to two black tie dinner events, one valued at $225 and the other valued at $300, and received transportation to one event from a reporter, all without prior authorization,” it continues.
Officials with the IOG reached out to the former official for an interview but the former official declined.
The Justice Department explained that while it can “compel testimony from current Department employees upon informing them that their statements will not be used to incriminate them in a criminal proceeding” it “does not have the authority to compel or subpoena testimony from former Department employees, including those who retire or resign during” the course of the investigation.
Not a first: A DOJ report in 2019 alleged that former FBI senior official Michael Kortan accepted two tickets to Washington Nationals games from a CNN reporter during the 2016 election. Kortan resigned from the agency the previous year.
The DOJ said he “lacked candor under oath when he provided answers to OIG’s questions relating to the September 2016 tickets that were misleading and false.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.