America’s finest at the FBI last week added yet another screw up to what appears to be a growing laundry list of humiliating failures.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz released a report Wednesday in which he accused the bureau of failing to adequately respond to sexual abuse allegations against disgraced U.S. gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.
“Failures by Indianapolis [FBI] officials contributed to a delay [in investigating Nassar] of over a year,” the report said, adding that FBI officials failed to respond to the “Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that the allegations deserved and required, made numerous and fundamental errors when they did respond to them, and failed to notify state or local authorities of the allegations or take other steps to mitigate the ongoing threat.”
The report also alleged that after receiving the first complaint against Nassar in 2015, the bureau neither notified state, nor local authorities that he was under investigation, nor did they notify agents in Lansing, Michigan, where Nassar was employed at the time by Michigan State University.
Justice Department Inspector General:
FBI agents disregarded allegations by Olympic gymnasts that they were sexually assaulted by former national team doctor Larry Nassar and later made false statements to cover their mistakes.
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) July 14, 2021
Nassar would end up being accused of sexually assaulting at least 265 women, some of whom were famous U.S. gymnasts like Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, under the guise of medical treatment. He was sentenced in 2018 to 40-175 years in prison.
The sharp rebuke from the IG is another black eye for the bureau, the public missteps of which over the last few decades have come under increased bipartisan criticism.
Politically-motivated spying campaigns, being warned about earth-shattering tragedies before they occur, and refusing to bring actual criminals to justice are just some of the embarrassing failures the FBI has increasingly added to its record.
The bureau under the leadership of former Director James Comey and Acting Director Andrew McCabe drew the particular ire of former President Donald Trump and Republicans due to its handling of the Russia investigation in which the FBI would rely on false information and media leaks in order to investigate members of the Trump team.
In 2018, Horowitz released a report rebuking the FBI for using the unverified information in the salacious Steele Dossier to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant to spy on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who they accused of working as a Russian agent. (RELATED: DOJ Watchdog Puts Final Nail In Steele Dossier’s Coffin)
The report found that FBI agents failed to verify any of the allegations from Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent whose primary sub-source for the dossier was previously investigated by the bureau as a Russian spy. Horowitz also detailed 17 examples of information that contradicted the dossier that were withheld when agents presented their case to the FISA court.
“Our review revealed instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first application targeting Carter Page were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed,” the report said.
The FBI’s handling of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation into several members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign for allegations of working with Russia would also be criticized by IG Horowitz for the bureau’s clear political bias against the former president, notably against his incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Flynn’s identity was unmasked in intelligence reports of his calls with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the transition and FBI officials would attempt to go after him for a Logan Act violation, an obscure law that prevents American citizens from negotiating on behalf of the U.S.
Flynn would go on to plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI — but later retracted it, saying he was pressured into it by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. He was later pardoned by Trump. (RELATED: The Biggest Disclosures In Michael Flynn’s Case)
The lead agent on the Flynn case would later cast doubt on the allegations made by the FBI’s sources about Flynn’s contacts with the Russians and later reports revealed that the bureau even offered money to Christopher Steele to dig up dirt on the 4-star Army general.
Further accusations of political bias against the Trump administration would go on to taint the reputation of the FBI.
Kevin Clinesmith, an FBI lawyer involved in both the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and special counsel’s probe, sent several anti-Trump text messages in 2016 to fellow FBI employees, one of which said “Viva le Resistance!” He would later be sentenced to probation and community service for his role in falsifying an email about Carter Page.
Peter Strzok, former deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, would also come under heavy criticism from Republicans for anti-Trump text exchanges he had in 2016 with FBI lawyer and paramour Lisa Page, leading to his dismissal from the bureau.
“(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote to Strzok. “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it,” Strzok, who was deeply involved in both Crossfire Hurricane and the special counsel’s probe, reportedly replied.
In addition to political bias that has tainted the bureau’s reputation, the FBI has also endured a series of failures to stop mass tragedies before they occur despite being warned.
The FBI had either been warned or tipped off to the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooter, 2018 Parkland shooter, 2013 Boston bomber, and 2009 Fort Hood shooter, as well as the recent Boulder grocery store shooter and Nashville Christmas bomber.
In the case of the Pulse nightclub shooter, it would later be revealed that his father had been an FBI informant for over a decade prior to the shooting. (RELATED: The FBI Keeps Missing Mass Shooters Before It’s Too Late)
When the deadliest mass shooting in American history occurred in October 17 at a country music concert in Las Vegas, the FBI wrapped up its investigation without ever conclusively determining a motive for the shooter.
Perhaps the worst FBI misstep, however, was their decades-long failure to bring notorious sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein to justice.
In the four-hour Netflix special “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich,” painter Maria Farmer and her teenage sister Annie both said they contacted the FBI about being sexually abused by Epstein and his crony Ghislaine Maxwell in 1996.
Years later, in 2006, U.S. Attorneys would shut down a federal sex trafficking investigation into Epstein in Florida after he plead guilty to state prostitution charges despite the fact that the FBI suspected he was abusing girls in cities across the country and overseas.
“To say that the FBI was ignorant and just didn’t know, doesn’t really hold water,” Attorney Spencer Kuvin told the Daily Caller News Foundation in 2020 after the reports were revealed by the Miami Herald. “They would’ve had to have been so inept to think that this stopped at the gates of Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion.”
Recent documents in the Ghislaine Maxwell case also showed that the feds had once again deliberated pursuing charges against Epstein in 2016 after a lawyer for accuser Virginia Guiffre warned he was still abusing young girls.
The documents say that a New York prosecutor instructed an FBI chief to ask the Florida agents if they felt “justice had not been served” in the 2006 case but did not get a response. The prosecutor assumed that, by not responding, the “FBI agents in Florida did not express dissatisfaction,” according to the documents.
It would take until 2019 for Epstein to finally be arrested after extensive reporting on his sex crimes was done by the Miami Herald. He would later die of an apparent suicide in prison. Ghislaine Maxwell wouldn’t be arrested until June 2020.
Despite refusing to bring one of the most notorious sex criminals that have ever lived to justice, the FBI finds time to encourage Americans to spy on each other, seize legos from the homes of January 6 defendants, and send fifteen agents to investigate hate-crime allegations that turn out to be garage door pull chords.
Instead of investigating the alleged tip it received about Epstein’s abuse in 1996, the FBI was instead finding the time to funnel false information to journalists in order to smear 33-year-old Richard Jewell, the security guard who saved many lives by discovering a pipe bomb that had been placed in a crowded venue during the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta. (RELATED: Richard Jewell, Carter Page And The Illusion Of The FBI’s Power And Competence)
Just today, Buzzfeed News reported that FBI informants “had a hand in nearly every aspect starting with its inception” of the alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in October of last year, which was reported at the time as being foiled by an undercover FBI agent. “The extent of their involvement raises questions as to whether there would have even been a conspiracy without them,” the report added.
All of these miserable failures and corrupt activities have led to a crisis of credibility at America’s principle law enforcement agency.
Given the state of the FBI, it might even be time to officially change its name to the Federal Bureau of Incompetence.