New IG Report EXPOSES FBI And Media Relationship, Every American Should Be Worried

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND - FEBRUARY 27: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (L) delivers a speech during the 34th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council at the United Nations office in Geneva, Switzerland on February 27, 2017. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

According to the newly released investigative report from the Justice Department, members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation accepted favors and other free handouts from members of the media.

It should go without saying that members of the media should not be bribing, or otherwise giving favors to FBI officials. They should also not have access to the sensitive information these members possess.

As the Daily Caller reports, the new Inspector General report details “numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters.”

According to the report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz expressed “profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered our review.”

Here’s more:

The contact between FBI agents and the media extended to “improperly receiving benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events.”

In the following paragraph, the IG implies that such benefits could have encouraged various agents to leak information to the press.

“The harm caused by leaks, fear of potential leaks, and a culture of unauthorized media contacts is illustrated in Chapters Ten and Eleven of our report, where we detail the fact that these issues influenced FBI officials who were advising Comey on consequential investigative decisions in October 2016,” the report states.

The IG specified in the report that the suspicious and potentially illegal exchanges were not the faults of “the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous.” The bribes and the subsequent leaks of information, to the IG, seem to be a “cultural attitude among many in the organization.”

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Here’s more:

According to charts provided in the IG report, one reporter had contact with 12 FBI officials, including an FBI executive and unit chief.

Another reporter contacted an assistant director 21 times and a special agent 23 times, according to the IG. Some FBI employees were in contact with multiple reporters, with one special agent contacting various journalists 32 times.

Such a finding by the IG helps shed light on how various information has reached outlets like CNN or The New York Times throughout the criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. One of the striking findings from the report is how senior officials within the organization had no problem speaking with the media and breaking department policy — and possibly receiving goods in exchange for that information.

As Fox News reports, the IG report also exposed vicious language used by FBI officials to describe Trump supporters.

“All the people who were initially voting for her would not, and were not, swayed by any decision the FBI put out,” one FBI official wrote during a text message exchange with a second FBI official. “Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing. They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm.”

Responding to the IG report, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said it “reaffirmed the president’s suspicions about Comey’s conduct and about the political bias of some members of the FBI.”

The Wall Street Journal has more on the controversial texts:

In the course of its 18-month investigation, Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s staff also unearthed thousands of controversial text messages exchanged between Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel that disparaged Mr. Trump. The inspector general said his office was “deeply troubled” by the messages, which “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”

“Departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and Department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the Department as fair administrators of justice,” the report concluded.

Of special focus in the report were FBI Agent Peter Strzok and now-former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who exchanged thousands of text messages over the course of 2015 through 2017. Mr. Strzok, who was romantically involved with Ms. Page, had led the Clinton probe and later was the top agent on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

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