Information coming out of the Robert Mueller, special counselor investigation released over the past several weeks, calls into question the integrity of the FBI and Department of Justice. Now the Office of Inspector General has found a “systemic” problem within the DOJ.
From unanswered questions involving the FBI agents on Mueller’s team who were kicked off and reassigned to Peter Strzok’s message and what he meant by an “insurance policy” with possible involvement by Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI in attempting to prevent President Donald Trump from being elected, is there any wonder that many in the general public no longer trust those in the intelligence community?
On Wednesday, the American public learned that there are even more reasons not to put their faith in the DOJ.
The Office of Inspector General for the DOJ found that the DOJ has a “systemic” problem when it comes to handling sexual harassment complaints. The problem is so bad in fact, that the OIG found that correcting the issue requires “high level action”.
Here are just a few of the cases reviewed by the OIG according to The Washington Post who discovered the cases under a Freedom of Information Act request:
- U.S. attorney who had a sexual relationship with a subordinate and sent harassing texts and emails when it ended.
- A Civil Division lawyer who groped the breasts and buttocks of two female trial attorneys.
- A chief deputy U.S. marshal who had sex with “approximately” nine women on multiple occasions in his U.S. Marshals Service office.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, who was appointed to the position of OIG in 2012, said:
““We’re talking about presidential appointees, political appointees, FBI special agents in charge, U.S. attorneys, wardens, a chief deputy U.S. marshal, a U.S. marshal assistant director, a deputy assistant attorney general.”
In May, Horowitz sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein which stated the following:
“When employees engage in such misconduct, it profoundly affects the victim and affects the agency’s reputation, undermines the agency’s credibility, and lowers employee productivity and morale. Without strong action from the Department to ensure that DOJ employees meet the highest standards of conduct and accountability, the systemic issues we identified in our work may continue.”
Rosenstein responded to Horowitz then by issuing the following statement:
“It is fortunate that there are relatively few substantiated incidents of sexual harassment, but even one incident is too many.”
Is there a disconnect?
Rosenstein who also promised to review the matter (prior to the release of the OIG’s recent report) indicated that he would review the matter and decide if additional steps should be taken to assure that all complaints were handled properly.
Apparently, following the release of the OIG’s report, Rosenstein found it necessary to gather a working group to discuss those issues raised by the OIG. Rosenstein will reportedly respond to the OIG with recommendations once the matter has been studied.
Horowitz was concerned by the discovery that some who were accused of sexual misconduct did not receive appropriate discipline but instead were given bonuses or awards.
Horowitz wrote that one of the most troubling cases occurred in the Justice Department’s Civil Division. The case involved a senior, supervisory attorney in the Office of Immigration Litigation, who was accused of groping the breasts and buttocks of two female trial attorneys and made sexually charged comments to them at an office happy hour.
In the end, the accused received no suspension or loss in pay or grade. The official who decided the case said a suspension “would unnecessarily deprive the government of [his] litigating services.”
Horowitz’s report also indicated that although the case “presented potential criminal assault violations” there was no evidence that a “referral was made to the OIG or any other law enforcement entity.”
And there are many more cases reflected in the OIG’s report which need further investigation.
If the public servants in government who are sworn to enforce the law are themselves breaking the law, is it any wonder then that justice is not being served for those who have been a victim of crime?
The DOJ needs to clean up this “systemic” problem immediately by enforcing the laws on itself!
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