Two Republican Senators sent a letter to the Department of Justice back in June, asking where the heck Special Counsel John Durham is and what he’s doing. The DOJ finally responded to that request for information this past week. The DOJ confirmed that John Durham exists and that he’s doing something. That’s it. Most transparent administration ever!
While we’re still not getting any information about the Trump-Russia hoax from the DOJ, a government watchdog has uncovered something interesting: More than 50 FBI officials went out of their way in 2016 to leak damaging information about candidate Donald Trump to the media.
Only certain authorized employees of the FBI are allowed to ever talk to the media, in tightly controlled situations. During my 12 years at ABC News affiliates, the only FBI employee I could ever talk to was the agent who was the regional Public Information Officer (PIO) for my area. No other FBI employees would dare talk to a reporter in those pre-Trump days. If we needed information from the FBI about a bank robbery or any other case they were working on, we had to get a quote or a soundbite from the PIO.
This is because there are strict rules against talking to reporters. The FBI didn’t want to compromise ongoing investigations, and they would have cracked down on any agent who leaked information to the press. But as with everything when it pertains to the Deep State and Donald Trump, it’s different this time!
The Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) revealed last week that 56 non-authorized FBI agents and employees were talking to reporters in 2016. The OIG was trying to (supposedly) uncover the source of FBI leaks to the press. The reason they caught these 56 agents was because they used their government-issued cell phones to talk to reporters.
The OIG admits that this only accounts for cell-phone contacts. There may have been even more agents leaking anti-Trump information to the media, but they were smart enough to meet the reporters in person or used their personal cell phones to call them.
Oh, and three FBI agents were caught actually taking bribes from reporters in order to provide them scoops about candidate Donald Trump in 2016. One unidentified senior FBI official in the OIG report accepted sports tickets from a reporter in exchange for a story. Another FBI official was caught accepted a $225 ticket to a fancy media-sponsored dinner. A third unidentified official accepted “items of value” from several reporters in exchange for stories about Trump.
The OIG report states:
“The misconduct by these three senior officials, and the substantial media contacts identified by the OIG involving numerous other FBI employees, evidenced a cultural attitude at the FBI that was far too permissive of unauthorized media contacts in 2016.”
I don’t know about you, but I sure would like some more transparency about this. What are the names of the three unidentified “senior FBI officials” who took incredibly cheap bribes from reporters? Were any of them named Comey or McCabe, by any chance?
The most intense leaking to reporters from the FBI happened in March and April of 2016. That was the point where Donald Trump had run away with virtually every GOP primary and was the clear frontrunner in the race. 52 FBI agents called reporters and spoke with them during that period.
The next period of intense leaking was right before the 2016 election. 33 FBI agents called reporters in October of 2016 on their government-issued cell phones to leak information about candidate Donald Trump.
Here’s the link to the full OIG report if you want to read it for yourself.
It’s clear to everyone by now that the FBI is no longer a “law enforcement” agency. The actions of these FBI agents and officials when James Comey was in charge are beyond the pale. They were acting as Hillary Clinton campaign operatives, rather than as law enforcement officials. And current FBI Director Christopher Wray has done nothing about it.
No one has been disciplined for breaking FBI policy, blatantly leaking information directly to reporters, taking bribes or anything else. One FBI lawyer got probation for falsifying evidence in a FISA warrant against Carter Page.
Is John Durham really out there somewhere? He’s supposedly been investigating the origins of the Russia hoax for two-and-a-half years now. I’m not holding my breath.