FBI Facing Backlash For Lenient Treatment Of Agents Accused Of Sexual Misconduct

In a recent letter, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) revealed that hundreds of FBI agents had resigned from their positions before being disciplined for sexual misconduct allegations, in addition to lenient treatment for senior officials.

Grassley wrote that he received the information from a whistleblower, who said that 665 FBI employees left the company over the last 17 years to avoid the outcome of misconduct investigations.

The whistleblower indicated that the Justice Department began investigating the FBI in 2020 in the wake of reports from the Associated Press of sexual misconduct allegations against several senior-level officials.

During the department’s investigation, they gained access to the bureau’s disciplinary database, where they discovered that 665 employees had either resigned or retired between 2004 and 2020, prior to the completion of their misconduct probes. Forty-five of the employees were senior-level officials.

Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, addressed the letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland.

“It’s been alleged to my office that the data involved an element of sexual misconduct, which comports with the purpose of the … review that was done because of the Associated Press article,” Grassley wrote. “The committee welcomes any clarity the Justice Department is able to provide.”

The FBI released a statement in response, stating that they are taking the allegations seriously.

“The FBI looks critically at ourselves and will continue to make improvements,” read the statement from the FBI. “The bottom line is, employees who commit gross misconduct and sexual harassment have no place in the FBI.”

“It is infuriating that we are left with little disciplinary recourse when people leave before their case is adjudicated,” the bureau added in their statement.

The FBI did not address Grassley’s allegation that the bureau treated senior-level officials more favorably in misconduct investigations.

“If the Justice Department and FBI can’t ensure the equal application of the law within its own ranks, how can they be trusted to apply the law equally against the American people?” Grassley wrote. “Congress and the American people would like to know what Director Wray and Deputy Director Abbate have done to solve this issue.”