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Tag: michael horowitz

FBI Agent Who Bungled Sex-Abuse Allegations Against Nassar Is Fired

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has fired an agent accused of failing to properly investigate sexual abuse allegations against USA disgraced Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. 

The termination of Michael Langeman, who was a supervisory special agent at the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office, comes two months after the Justice Department’s Inspector General found that the FBI mishandled the case.

Langeman was fired last week, The Washington Post reports

In 2015, Langeman interviewed gymnast McKayla Maroney, who said she was sexually abused by Nassar. 

In his report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz accused Langeman and his former boss, Jay Abbott, of mishandling the case and then lying to inspector general investigators about it. 

Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.” During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison. 

FBI Director Christopher A. Wray is scheduled to testify about the Nassar case today before the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

IG Investigation Found No Evidence of FBI Agents Leaking Information Prior to 2016 Presidential Election

By Steve Neavling

A Justice Department inspector general’s investigation was unable to identify who in the FBI leaked information to the media or Rudolph Giuliani prior to the 2016 presidential election. 

But according to the new 10-page report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, more than 50 FBI officials were in contact with reporters who wrote about investigations before the election.

The impetus of the internal probe was the discovery that details of the FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump’s campaign were leaked to the media. 

Horowitz noted that it was difficult to identify the leakers because he did not have subpoena power and that too many agents had contact with reporters. He noted there was “a cultural attitude at the FBI that was far too permissive of unauthorized media contacts in 2016.”

Giuliani previously claimed he had inside information about the Clinton investigation. But according to the report, Giuliani walked back his claims, saying he did not talk to active FBI agents and “had no foreknowledge” of then-FBI Director James Comey’s public revelation just before the election that the bureau had reopened the investigation into Clinton’s use of a personal email account. 

IG Report: FBI Used Provocative Photos of Female Staffers to Lure Predators in Undercover Stings

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

FBI agents posted provocative photos of young female coworkers online to lure predators in sex trafficking investigations, placing them “in danger of becoming the victims of criminal offenses,” according to an Inspector General report.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the agents did not get approval from the employees’ supervisors or written consent from the staffers to post the photos. 

The report also found that the employees were not certified for undercover work. 

Horowitz’s internal investigation was prompted by allegations that an unidentified FBI agent was having an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer, whom the agent asked for “provocative pictures of herself” for the undercover sting.

The FBI said it “fully accepted” the recommendations in the report and that it would create “new language” to address the problems outlined by Horowitz. 

FBI Bungled Sex Abuse Probe of USA Gymnastics Doctor Larry Nassar, IG Finds

Larry Nassar is charged with child pornography.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI mishandled the investigation into sexual abuse allegations against Larry Nassar, the disgraced USA Gymnastics team doctor, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a searing 119-page report

The FBI acknowledged the findings Wednesday and made no excuses for the blunders. 

“As the Inspector General made clear in today’s report, this should not have happened,” the bureau said in a statement. “The FBI will never lose sight of the harm that Nassar’s abuse caused. The actions and inactions of certain FBI employees described in the report are inexcusable and a discredit to this organization. The FBI has taken affirmative steps to ensure and has confirmed that those responsible for the misconduct and breach of trust no longer work FBI matters.”

The FBI added that it “will take all the necessary steps to ensure that the failures of the employees outlined in the report do not happen again.”

Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the Indianapolis Field Office “failed to respond to the Nassar allegations with the utmost seriousness and urgency that they deserved and required.”

During the investigation, which began in 2015, the bureau waited five weeks to interview one of the victims and failed to notify the FBI’s Lansing office or state law enforcement.   

The report accuses W. Jay Abbot, the special agent in charge of the Indianapolis Field Office, of lying to the inspector general during the internal investigation “to minimize errors” made by his office.

According to the report, Nassar sexually abused at least 70 young athletes between 2015 and August 2016. Nassar is effectively serving a life sentence in prison. 

DOJ Watchdog Probes DOJ’s Seizure of Data from Democrats, Journalists

court

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is investigating discoveries that the Trump administration seized data from journalists and House Democrats as part of a probe into leaked classified information. 

Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced the investigation Friday and said he would examine whether the DOJ violated department policy and “whether any such uses, or the investigations, were based upon improper considerations,” The Associated Press reports.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco requested the internal review after the revelation last week that Justice Department prosecutors secretly subpoenaed Apple for data from U.S. Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell, as well as their aides and family members.

It was also recently discovered that Trump’s Justice Department  secured subpoenas for reporters’ records. 

President Biden’s administration denounced the subpoenas as an abuse of power. White House deputy press secretary Andrew Bates called the conduct “shocking” and said it “clearly fits within an appalling trend that represents the opposite of how authority should be used.”

DOJ’s IG Investigating Whether Department Tried to Overturn Election

Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department’s inspector general said Monday he’s launching an investigation into whether any department officials “engaged in an improper attempt” to overturn the presidential election. 

The announcement follows news reports that former President Trump tried to get department officials to challenge election results.

“The inspector general is initiating an investigation into whether any former or current D.O.J. official engaged in an improper attempt to have D.O.J. seek to alter the outcome of the 2020 presidential election,” IG Michael Horowitz said in a statement, The New York Times reports

Before resigning in December, then-Attorney General William Barr said there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, contradicting Trump’s repeated and false assertions that the election was stolen from him.

Head of FBI’s L.A. Office Quietly Reassigned After Ethics Violations at Dodgers Stadium

Dodger Stadium (deposit photo)

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s top official in Los Angeles has been quietly reassigned after an Inspector’s General’s report found he and other top bureau officials violated ethics requirements by holding a sensitive meeting at a 2018 Los Angels Dodgers playoff game.

Politoco reports that Paul Delacourt, who at the time was the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, was reassigned to FBI headquarters in Washington D.C. in recent weeks.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s office found that eight FBI officials discussed sensitive intelligence matters while “surrounded” by fans at other tables at the exclusive Stadium Club overseeing the baseball field. Seven of them also dined at the buffet without paying for the food in violation of the bureau’s gift policies. Using the exclusive club also violated the bureau’s gift policies, the IG found.

“The officials held an executive management meeting at the table, discussed sensitive law enforcement information during the executive management meeting, and ate food from a buffet in the club that had a market value of more than $60 per person,” the OIG said in July.

According to the bureau’s website, the chief of San Francisco office, John Bennett, is serving as the acting head of the L.A. office.

Government Watchdogs Investigating Use of Force by Federal Officers in Portland, Washington D.C.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The inspectors general of the Justice Department and Homeland Security have launched investigations into how federal agents have used force and detained protesters during demonstrations in Portland and Washington D.C.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is reviewing the use of force by U.S. Marshals in Portland and the FBI, DEA and ATF in Washington D.C., The Washington Post reports.

Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari is investigating allegations that CBP agents “improperly detained and transported protesters” in Portland, where protesters and federal officers have clashed over the past week.

In a joint statement, Democratic leaders in the U.S. House said the investigations are “critically important” as the Trump administration plans to deploy federal agents to additional cities, including Detroit, Chicago and Kansas City.

“Many of these federal agents are dressed as soldiers, driving unmarked vehicles and refusing to identify themselves or their agencies,” they wrote. “Nearly everywhere they have deployed, their presence has increased tensions and caused more confrontation between demonstrators and police.”

On Thursday night, a federal judge in Oregon issued a temporary restraining order barring federal agents in Portland from arresting or using force against journalists and legal observers.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security’s first secretary, Republican Tom Ridge, criticized the use of federal officers in cities without the consent of state and local officials.

“It would be a cold day in hell before I would consent or agree to the unsolicited, uninvited intervention in any of my cities,” Ridge told KDKA . “I certainly don’t favor that kind of action, and certainly don’t think DHS was designed for that purpose to start with.”