Government watchdog Judicial Watch has obtained documents from the Office of Professional Responsibility [OPR] that show 14 FBI employees or agents were referred for criminal prosecution after leaking sensitive or classified information to the media.
"Judicial Watch announced today it received records of 14 referrals of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) employees to the organization’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive or classified information. The disclosure comes on the heels of Judicial Watch’s uncovering of a FBI report detailing fired FBI Director James Comey kept FBI documents on President Trump at his house. Comey also admitted to leaking these documents," Judicial Watch released in a statement.
"Although the FBI’s OPR does not have its own website, according to the DOJ’s OPR, leak allegations may come, 'from a variety of sources, including U.S. Attorney’s offices and other Department components, courts, Congress, media reports, other federal agencies, state and local government agencies, private citizens, private attorneys, criminal defendants, civil litigants, and self-referrals. OPR also regularly conducts its own searches to identify judicial findings of misconduct against Department attorneys,'” it continues.
One of those employees was fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who also served as acting director when James Comey was fired in May 2017.
"The records show that penalties for unauthorized disclosure of sensitive and/or classified information ranged from no action (due to administrative closure) to, as in the case of McCabe, dismissal. Other FBI employees’ offenses reported in the documents list several cases in which the final action was less severe than OPR’s proposal," Judicial Watch found.
Not only was McCabe referred for prosecution by OPR, but also by the Department of Justice Inspector General for lying to investigators under oath on multiple occasions.
"The OIG found that then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor, including under oath on multiple occasions in connection with describing his role in connection with a disclosure to the WSJ, and that this conduct violated FBI Offense Codes 2.5 and 2.6. The OIG also concluded that McCabe’s disclosure of the existence of an ongoing investigation in the manner described in this report violated the FBI’s and the Department’s media policy and constituted misconduct," an IG report states.
Last week the Department of Justice announced it would not proceed with a prosecution against fired Director Comey, despite his admission under oath he leaked sensitive memos to the media through a friend.
"I woke up in the middle of the night on Monday night, because it didn't dawn on me originally, that there might be corroboration for our conversations, might be a tape, my judgment was that I needed to get that out into the public square and so I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter," Comey admitted during congressional testimony in 2017 after his firing. "I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but asked him to, because I thought that it might prompt the appointment of a Special Counsel. I asked a close friend of mine to do that."
“No wonder the FBI was leaking so profusely. Collectively, these documents show a show lenient treatment for evident criminal activity. Only three of the 14 employees found to have made an unauthorized disclosure were dismissed from the FBI,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton released in a statement. “And even though Andrew McCabe was fired and referred for a criminal investigation for his leak, no prosecution has taken place.”