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High-Ranking FBI Official Leaked Sealed Information To Journalists, Accepted Gifts From Reporter, Watchdog Found

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter

A former FBI official accepted gifts from the media and leaked sealed court information to reporters, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found.

According to a summary of a DOJ inspector general’s report released Wednesday, the former official, who served as a deputy assistant director, accepted a $225 ticket from a reporter to a media-sponsored event. The official, who is not identified, also allegedly provided law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on “multiple” occasions without authorization of the bureau. The official “had dozens of official contacts with the media” in violation of FBI policy, the report said.

The inspector general also found the former official might have been in contempt of court by allegedly disclosing the existence of information that was under a court seal. The Justice Department declined prosecution of the official.

The investigation is cited in a June 2018 inspector general’s report on the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general (IG), said in the previous report that investigators found “dozens” of FBI employees had contacts with the press.

“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,” the report said. (RELATED: Senior FBI Official Lied To Investigators About Receiving Sports Tickets From Reporters)

The IG also found a former FBI official lied to investigators about receiving tickets from a reporter to a sports event.

That official, who has also not been identified, initially claimed he paid the reporter for the tickets, but later admitted he did not.

Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, was fired from the bureau March 16, 2018, after the inspector general found he had given misleading statements about authorizing contacts with the media in October 2016 regarding an investigation of the Clinton Foundation.

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