Dozens of FBI agents violating policy by schmoozing with the press: DOJ IG report

 | June 14, 2018 02:01 PM

So many FBI officials are talking to the press and attending "social events" with the media that it's impossible to say who might have leaked confidential information to the media during the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private emails, according to a report from the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General.

That report said the IG has "profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.”

One mission of the IG was to see who might have leaked information from the FBI during the Clinton email probe. But it said that investigation had to continue, in part because so many FBI officials are talking to the press.

[READ: DOJ inspector general's report on Hillary Clinton emails investigation]

“We frequently find that the universe of Department and FBI employees who had access to sensitive information that has been leaked is substantial, often involving dozens, and in some instances, more than 100 people,” the IG said.

Despite FBI policy limiting the employees who are authorized to speak to the media, the IG found the policy was “widely ignored."

"We identified 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,” the IG said. “The large number of FBI employees who were in contact with journalists during this time period impacted our ability to identify the sources of leaks.”

That number of FBI employees is in the dozens, said the report.

The IG also found social interactions between FBI personnel and journalists that “were, at a minimum, inconsistent with FBI policy and Department ethics rules.”

“[W]e identified instances where FBI employees received tickets to sporting events from journalists, went on golfing outings with media representatives, were treated to drinks and meals after work by reporters, and were the guests of journalists at nonpublic social events.”

The investigations into the leaks are ongoing, said the IG, and a report will be issued when concluded.