A four-year investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general failed to identify the source of FBI leaks about Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election or find evidence that former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani had inside information, The Washington Post reports.
A report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz said that there were so “substantial media contacts” with dozens of FBI employees and the evidence could not determine “whether these media contacts resulted in the disclosure of nonpublic information.”
The report blamed a “cultural attitude at the FBI that was far too permissive of unauthorized media contacts in 2016.”
The investigation focused on leaks about the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s private email server and about internal concerns between the FBI and Justice Department about how to handle an investigation into its investigation of the Clinton Foundation.
The IG’s office has investigated the leaks for four years but determined there were simply too many contacts between reporters and journalists, though he did find misconduct by three senior FBI agents who accepted gifts of values from reporters.
FBI cracks down on media contact:
The FBI has begun to “improve the FBI’s cultural attitude regarding unauthorized contacts with the media, including by improving training and aligning its disciplinary penalties so that they are sufficient to deter unauthorized contact with the media,” the report said. “We believe it is important for the FBI to remain vigilant in these efforts.”
Horowitz said he referred six FBI employees who had unauthorized media contacts to supervisors, who will determine whether to discipline them.
The report said it was unclear whether those agents disclosed any sensitive information.
No evidence of Giuliani insider info:
The investigation also looked at whether Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor, had inside information from the FBI’s office in New York.
Shortly before former FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that he would reopen the Clinton server investigation, Giuliani on Fox News predicated “a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I’m talking about some pretty big surprises.”
Giuliani told investigators that he did not talk to any FBI agents and claimed Comey’s statements “were a shock to me. I had no foreknowledge of any of them.”
But the investigation could not identify any concrete contacts between FBI agents and Giuliani at the time.