An unnamed FBI agent was the subject of a recent investigation by the Department of Justice that revealed he was using provocative photos of female staffers as bait in an undercover sex-trafficking sting. Although his intentions may have been noble, Justice Department General Inspector Michael Horowitz issued a memo on Monday where he was critical of the agent and the FBI’s tactics.
The agent in question had urged the women to “not tell anyone, including their supervisors, about the UC [undercover] operations,” Horowitz said. Although the faces of the staffers were blurred and each was clothed, the women never gave written release for the photos to be used in the operation.
Questions of impropriety arose when the agent was found not only to have made the request of one staffer, but that it was believed to be an application of leverage spawning from an inappropriate relationship with the office staffer. Further investigation found that the request for photos was not isolated to one staffer, nor was the agent alone in the practice of such maneuvers at the bureau.
“This conduct poses potential adverse consequences” for the support staffers, said the inspector, adding they might possibly be put “in danger of becoming the victims of criminal offenses.”
In what appears to be rather material to the sting operation, Inspector General Horowitz accused the federal agents of sloppiness in record keeping as well, saying the names of the women who submitted photos should have been documented and that websites, where their photos appeared, should necessarily be tracked. He also criticized the bureau for not having any policy in place regarding the use of photos from staff not certified for undercover work.
National Security Counselors Executive Director Kel McClanahan remarked on Twitter, “It was almost defensible until ‘don’t tell anyone.'”
It is unknown when the incidents occurred, nor exactly how many instances there were. However, Executive Assistant Director Brian Turner pledged to get to the bottom of it, promising that the bureau will “evaluate existing policy and determine which policies require adjustment.” Also forthcoming is an additional investigation to be conducted by the Office of Professional Responsibility at the DOJ.
Good luck with that, everybody.
It appears that things keep looking up at the FBI these days, an agency with top-down directorial and procedural woes that have left much of the nation with serious doubt in its integrity and lawful application of procedures. From FISA warrant violations, spying on American citizens, and of course, the bureau’s collusion with the Department of Justice in trying to oust duly-elected President Donald Trump, both before and after he won the 2016 presidential race.
The director at the time, James Comey, being the ring leader of the illegalities, was still able to turn it into a book deal with the full support of the sycophantic media on his side, because hey, it’s good to be a Democrat.
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