Scandals abound! Just look at the illegal and traitorous actions of FBI agents. From illicit love affairs and horrible DUI-induced homicides, the real and tragic history of FBI agents really makes you wonder what is happening that we don’t know. Here are just some of the scary and sordid FBI stories.
Waiting For The Memo To Drop
On February 1, 2018, the United States waited anxiously to see whether President Trump would publicly release the contents of a highly-classified FBI memo. The memo is alleged to contain details regarding unlawful FBI surveillance. Current FBI director Christopher A. Wray has urged the president not to release the document because he has “grave concerns” about its contents and the classified information that would be revealed. However, on Friday one White House employee stated that “[t]he president is inclined to approve release of the memo [on the 1st or 2nd]”. After giving the State of the Union address on January 30, Trump was overheard telling a lawmaker that he was “100%” going to release it. He did indeed release the memo, although the motive behind his decision to do so was not quite clear upon a review of the memo’s contents.
This was just the latest scandal involving the FBI…
FBI Director Attacks Hillary Clinton
The controversial debacle that surrounded FBI Director James Comey is, by now, legendary. Remarkably, Comey chose the final days counting down to the election to throw up red flags regarding concerns he said he had in his FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private-server usage and questions of security.
It wasn’t so much that he had launched the investigation (that was probably expected), but that he sent the letters so close to the end of the election cycle, causing a media frenzy. It has been seen as a political move, not justified. Clinton claims that this was a huge factor in why she lost the election. For his part, he didn’t get off scot-free. There were still a number of debacles that he would preside over before he was finally summarily axed by President Trump.
How scandalous the Trump wire-tapping debacle really was is probably a matter for debate. After all, the only person who claims that Trump Tower was bugged is President Trump. But, reports also speculate that Trump was expecting FBI Director James Comey to back him up. It’s not clear whether Comey was expected to fabricate evidence, just release a statement in support of Trump, or just remain silent on the topic. Whatever he was supposed to do, Comey disappointed.
After Trump posted to Twitter regarding his wire-taping claims, Comey said: “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI.”
President Trump Fires FBI Director Comey
The latest news in the saga surrounding FBI Director James Comey was released in May of 2017, as President Trump summarily fired him. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement: “Today, President Donald J. Trump informed FBI Director James Comey that he has been terminated and removed from office. President Trump acted based on the clear recommendations of both Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.”
While it was said to be based on performance, specifically the “mishandling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails”, many critics claim that it was simply a fast-and-easy (perhaps even fool-proof) way to derail the investigation that Comey had launched into Russian involvement and influence on the White House, while other media outlets point to the wire-tapping scandal.
Why Was James Comey Fired?
There’s a rich and rather tragic history of scandals under James Comey’s watch, so you might say there will never be just one reason that he was removed from his post as FBI Director. Historically speaking, though, it is rather unusual to remove someone who is in such a place of prominence in the administration. That’s probably why the media has been in such a frenzy to speculate the real reasons why he was fired.
Ultimately, one of the most widely held opinions is that Comey was an embarrassment. He wasn’t on the “Team Trump,” he’s been called to testify over-and-over again, and perhaps it was just too much for the White House to stomach.
Perhaps we should have known that the relationship between President Trump and FBI Director James Comey was destined to end in scandal and failure, particularly with some of the latest details that are now emerging. According to some sources, Trump invited Comey to a one-on-one dinner shortly after becoming president and then demanded that Comey pledge his loyalty to him. Comey refused. When he was asked again later, he said he would give trump “honesty,” and when asked if it would be “honest loyalty,” he reportedly said: “You will have that.”
The White House claims a very different account of that dinner, and Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee said, “We don’t believe this to be an accurate account… He would never even suggest the expectation of personal loyalty, only loyalty to our country and its great people.”
What About Intimidation?
As if the scandal and gossip-mongering weren’t enough, you’ve likely now heard about the intimidation tactics that appear to have been deployed against James Comey. Yes, he’s now a private citizen. He no longer heads up the FBI, but President Trump has unleashed tweets about him, which have caused even further debate and uproar. The wire-tapping scandal has already been compared to the Nixon scandal. In his Twitter post, Trump said: “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press.”
Former White House Counsel, John Dean, responded to Trump’s tweet by saying: “Obviously, President Trump is confused. He is the one who must hope there are no tapes. Honest people don’t have problems being taped.” Still, there’s a long history of FBI scandal that all fell apart under Comey’s directorship.
Was The Garland Terror Attack Botched?
The ISIS-claimed attack was the first of its kind in the US, and the facts that surrounded the case are both eye-opening and troubling. We now know that the spark that set off the attack was a “Draw Muhammad” contest. Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi were the two radical Islamic extremists who opened fire on the scene, but what’s perhaps most terrifying is that the FBI knew about at least one suspect.
An undercover agent was following them, and he even filmed the whole incident. It’s now believed that he was trying to use his participation in the incident to gain better standing with the ISIS organization, so he did nothing to stop it. He also reportedly fled the scene as soon as the first shots were fired.
The Aftermath of Garland
We now know that the FBI also reportedly alerted law enforcement that an attack was imminent, which may have contributed to a faster response time. Fortunately, a traffic officer quickly took out the two shooters, and Security Guard Bruce Joiner was the only one injured in the incident.
After learning that the undercover FBI agent was on the scene of the shooting, Joiner demanded answers, and his lawyer told reporters: “Just a complete botched operation where they [the FBI] don’t want the attack to actually take place, or, it’s something where they need the attack to take place in order for this guy [the agent] to advance in the world of ISIS.”
Comey Questioned Over Garland Attack
What did the FBI know? And when did they know it? Those were just two of the many questions that the Senate subcommittee had for FBI Director James Comey when he testified before them about the Garland attack. The line of questions also involved whether the FBI should have done more to stop the terror attack, particularly since they were reportedly following one of the shooters. It also goes back to whether public safety overrules and other consideration (like the possibility that they would gain valuable intel by gaining a better foothold in the ISIS organization).
Russia Warned FBI of Boston Marathon Suspect
In another tragic turn of events, evidence indicates that the Russian FSB intelligence agency had warned the FBI that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the bomber in the Boston Marathon (2013) was a dangerous and radical Islamist extremist. According to reports, he was flagged in the system so he should have been pulled aside for questioning at the JFK airport, but a misspelling of his last name allowed him to slip by. The Boston Chief of Police later called it a “huge hole” and an “opportunity missed.”
What could be seen as a “simple” mistake actually resulted in one of the worst terror attacks on US soil, and the error unforgivable. You can look at his travel record to see how many times he entered and left the US, without being detained or questioned. But, the bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon was not the first, nor would it be the last.
FBI Digs Into The San Bernardino Attack
In the aftermath of the San Bernardino attack, the FBI once again investigated the case as an act of terror by Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. FBI Director James Comey again drew criticism, with their approach in attempting to hack into Farook’s iPhone, which they believed held valuable intel.
While you’ve probably seen law-enforcement officers accessing smart phones, computers, and other digital devices, the reality of current encryption appears to be a bit more complicated than you’ve probably imagined. The FBI couldn’t hack into the phone, so they submitted a search warrant in an attempt to force Apple to help them get in. Of course, the search warrant, and the revelation that the FBI was attempting to gain access to an encryption device also sparked further protest.
FBI Takes Apple to Court
In yet another terror event, the FBI discovered that there was yet another obstacle to getting to the data it needed to pursue justice for the victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attack. You probably remember that an iPhone was recovered from the shooter, and the FBI was reportedly unable to crack the security to access the phone data. So, the FBI issued a search warrant to force Apple to write code that would allow them access. It was a rather round-about way to get at elusive, potentially useless, information, but it also didn’t get them the result they were after. Apple argued that the search warrant violated their first amendment rights, and they won in court.
FBI Hacked The iPhone $900,000 Later
In court proceedings, the FBI lawyers hinted that they may have already figured out (or were close to figuring out) how to hack the iPhone, but they didn’t elaborate. Then, in subsequent testimony, FBI Director James Comey eluded to the very large sum of money that was paid out to a hacker to get into the iPhone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook.
It was only more recently that Dianne Feinstein spilled the (top secret) beans. She indicated that the FBI had paid an astounding $900,000 to hack the phone. The Associated Press had sued the FBI to find out that detail, and they also requested the name of the vendor who unlocked the phone (which, again, is considered top secret by the FBI.)
Pulse Nightclub Attack
The Pulse Nightclub massacre is another of the tragedies that have fallen in with the FBI scandal files, and that incident resulted in the deaths of 49 people, with 53 wounded. FBI Director James Comey was questioned about the Pulse attack when it became clear that Omar Mir Seddique Mateen had been under investigation. He had also shown a propensity toward violent outbursts.
His ex-wife said that he abused her, and he’d also said that he was going to bring a gun to his training class in 2007. He reportedly made “inflammatory” comments to co-workers and also was also associated with a suicide bomber. Even though the preponderance of evidence appeared compelling, the FBI investigators decided he was not a threat, and they closed the case. During his attack on the Pulse Nightclub, though, he pledged allegiance to ISIS.
Should The FBI Have Arrested Mateen?
You may be one of the critics who say that the FBI agents should have known. Maybe they would have if he’d shown more violent outbursts. But, you can also see how an agent could look at his beautiful wife and young kid, and even see him on a good day. It’s impossible to know what they saw when they investigated him, and that’s also why it’s such a difficult task to stop these horrible acts of terror. When you look at this picture of a man with his wife and little boy, do you really imagine that he’s going to murder 49 people?
With all the scandals you’d read about so far, you’re probably not at all shocked to hear that at least one FBI agent was found guilty of DUI.
FBI Agent’s DUI Killed Two Brothers
Sadly, you’re probably not shocked that James Farrall was an FBI agent who was charged with DUI, but you may be a little more surprised when you learn that he drove the wrong way and hit two brothers, Maurice Williams and Craig Chambers, who both died in the mangled car wreckage. What’s even more troubling is that according to Prosecutor Michael Horowitz, “Not once did this man even get up here and accept responsibility for his actions. I think that’s telling.”
After being convicted of driving under the influence, he got 90 days in jail, as well as 12-months probation, 50 hours of community service, a driver’s license suspension for a year, and a fine of $250. He’s not the only FBI agent to find himself at the center of scandal for DUI and manslaughter.
FBI Agent DUI-Homicide
In the case of Adrian N. Johnson, he was charged with DUI and homicide, when he drove on the wrong side of the road. His vehicle hit an oncoming vehicle and killed 18-year-old Lawrence Garner Jr., who was driving with his best friend, Robert Mitchell II.
Johnson was immediately arrested under suspicion that he was driving under the influence, and he was eventually sentenced to 18 months in prison for manslaughter. DUI-and-manslaughter isn’t even the tip of the scandals that have bogged down the FBI over the years. There’s also the top-security clearance translator who ran off with an ISIS operative…
FBI Translator Goes Rogue & Marries ISIS Terrorist
You’ve probably heard it said that love is blind, but this story is just crazy. Daniela Greene was an FBI translator with top-secret clearance, so you can imagine the hubbub when she ran off to Syria in 2014 and married an ISIS operative. She’d lied to her bosses about where she was going, and what she planned to do, for now-obvious reasons. Worse still, she reportedly warned him that he was under investigation, which probably jeopardized the FBI agenda and left them open to rather-enormous security concerns.
Yes, there has been an onslaught of nearly every form of controversy and scandal over the years, all surrounding the FBI. But, at the very root of the FBI credibility is the supposed fact that they gather evidence and carry out investigations that are above board. But, according to leaked documents reported on by the Washington Post, the FBI and the Justice Department have uncovered massive issues including “flawed forensic testimony” and claims that appear to regularly exceed the limits of real science.
Many cases rely on more than just the forensic evidence or testimony to make that guilty conviction “stick” but the pattern of faulty investigative processes is still troubling, lending itself to a pattern of scandal that’s impossible to ignore.
Are You Surprised?
At some point, you’ve probably stopped being surprised. Then, you may have become annoyed, and you probably have even gotten angry. The FBI is supposed to be protecting us, but the scandals and controversies show that some of their agents lack integrity, while there are also issues that go all the way to the very top of the FBI.
In one leaked report alone, you’ll find evidence of more than 1,045 FBI agents who were disciplined for everything from “sexting” on company phones to dating drug dealers. Agents are regularly cautioned to “steer clear of ethical pitfalls and other violations,” but the chiding notes don’t seem to be doing a whole lot of good.