Only 4 of 14 FBI Staff Who Misused Classified Info Were Fired

August 6, 2019 Updated: August 7, 2019

WASHINGTON—Fourteen FBI agents and executives have been referred since Jan. 18 to the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) for mishandling classified information, but only four of them have been fired, according to documents made public Aug. 6 by Judicial Watch.

Of the remaining 10 employees, four of them have received nothing more than a letter of censure in their official personnel file, while the other six were suspended without pay for periods ranging from one day to 60 days, but averaging 10.5 days.

The OPR is obscure but wields significant power because, according to its website, the office “investigates certain misconduct allegations involving federal law enforcement agents when they relate to a department attorney’s alleged professional misconduct.”

“If OPR finds professional misconduct in a particular case, a different office—the Professional Misconduct Review Unit—reviews OPR’s findings and determines the appropriate discipline,” it states.

The most prominent of the 14 appears to be former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March 2018 for lack of candor about leaking classified information to a reporter during the 2016 president campaign.

Sessions said a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation “concluded that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions.”

“Pursuant to Department Order 1202, and based on the report of the Inspector General, the findings of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, and the recommendation of the Department’s senior career official, I have terminated the employment of Andrew McCabe effective immediately,” he said.

McCabe was deeply involved in the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private, unsecured email server and of allegations that members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests against Clinton.

“No wonder the FBI was leaking so profusely. … Only three of the 14 employees found to have made an unauthorized disclosure were dismissed from the FBI,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement accompanying release of the documents.

“And even though Andrew McCabe was fired and referred for a criminal investigation for his leak, no prosecution has taken place,” Fitton added.

In April, Judicial Watch sued for communications between the FBI and McCabe concerning his book, “The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.”

In addition to McCabe, Judicial Watch described the remaining 13 referrals:

An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in July 2016.

An unidentified employee was given a one-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in April 2016.

The following year, an unidentified employee received a five-day suspension without pay, and the case was closed administratively in April 2017.

An SES (Senior Executive Service) agent who “misused an FBI database, and provided sensitive information to a former FBI employee” was reported to have had as mitigation that he felt he “had the support of his Division to use his discretion.” OPR proposed a 15-day suspension, but the final decision was to give a letter of censure. This case was closed in June 2017.

An unidentified employee was fired. The case was closed in May 2018.

An unidentified employee was recommended for dismissal but received a 45-day suspension. The case was closed in October 2017.

An unidentified employee was given a 14-day suspension. The case was closed in March 2016.

An unidentified employee, who was cited for misuse of an FBI database and unauthorized disclosure of classified, law-enforcement sensitive, or grand jury information, was given a 12-day suspension. The case was closed in January 2016.

An unidentified employee received a letter of censure. The case was closed in August 2016.

An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. The case was closed in October 2016.

An unidentified employee was accused of “Investigative deficiency—improper handling of documents or property in the care, custody or control of the government; unauthorized disclosure—classified/law enforcement sensitive/grand jury information” and “failure to report—administrative.” It was proposed the employee be given a 30-calendar day suspension without pay; the final decision from OPR was that the employee was given a 10-calendar day suspension without pay. This case was closed in February 2018.

An unidentified employee was fired. This case was closed in October 2017.

An unidentified employee was given a letter of censure. It was proposed the employee be fired, but the final decision was a 60-day suspension without pay. The case was closed in January 2019.

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