An investigation by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Justice (DoJ) found that a senior FBI official maintained connections with several members of the media between January and November 2016, violating FBI policy. The findings were detailed in an investigative summary report published on July 20. The unnamed senior FBI official was found to have received a number of gifts from media contacts.
“In addition to substantive communications with reporters, this media contact included unauthorized social engagements outside of FBI Headquarters involving drinks, lunches, and dinners… 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,” the report states.
The official retired from the FBI before being contacted by the OIG for an interview, which he or she declined. The OIG only has the authority to compel current FBI employees to reveal information with the promise that statements will “not be used to incriminate them in a criminal proceeding.”
It lacks the authority “to compel or subpoena testimony from former Department employees, including those who retire or resign during the course of an OIG investigation.” The OIG has finished its investigation and will provide a report on its findings to the FBI. In the past, other officials have been accused of maintaining relations with media personnel.
In an OIG DoJ report released in 2019, Michael Kortan, who was the head of the FBI’s Office of Public Affairs until 2018, was accused of accepting baseball tickets from media outlets like The New York Times and CNN. He accepted one ticket from an NYT reporter in October 2014 and three tickets from a CNN correspondent on two separate occasions in May and September of 2016. Kortan later lied under oath about receiving the tickets.
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The FBI’s possible ties with the media were also criticized by former President Donald Trump and reporters, who revealed that the DOJ, FBI, and mainstream media all remained silent about the criminal investigation into Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, for tax issues during the 2020 presidential election.
New York Post columnist Miranda Devine said on “Fox & Friends,” “The New York Post story broke on October 14, which is more than two weeks before the election. It should have been covered, and instead it was actively suppressed. It was ignored.”
Corruption in the FBI
In a write-up at The Epoch Times, political commentator Dinesh D’Souza accuses the FBI of being “corrupted from the top.” Corruption began under the Obama administration, endured during the Trump administration, and has reached its “unfortunate nadir” under the Biden administration.
D’Souza cites the difference in treatment meted out to those who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots and those who took part in BLM and Antifa organized riots.
The FBI has “unrelentingly” hunted down protestors present during the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, even if they were not directly involved in the riots. The arrested individuals have been treated like “domestic terrorists,” and nonviolent offenders have been “given the same brutal treatment” as violent ones.
The FBI has distributed images of teenagers and even grandmothers to encourage the public to help track down certain individuals. In contrast, the FBI’s attitude towards Antifa and BLM activists has been “lackadaisical, even disinterested,” D’Souza claims.
“Those activists have proven far more violent. They have killed a number of people, in contrast to the Trump activists who killed nobody… They have looted businesses, burned churches, assaulted police officers, attacked and harassed ordinary citizens eating in restaurants or going about their normal lives—and all with impunity. No FBI raids, no systematic arrests, no dissemination of ‘Wanted’ images on social media,” D’Souza writes.