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Jason Chaffetz: The Justice Department is losing the confidence of the American people. Here’s why


While reading the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) quarterly report last week, I came across an interesting pattern: the DOJ is possibly the safest place in America to break the law. Because if you work there, your law enforcement will most likely be turned down.

One of the strange byproducts of a former House Oversight Committee chairman is an odd fascination with the independent investigations into wrongdoing within the federal government. You can learn a lot about the stories our media don’t tell from these routine reports.

These quarterly snapshots provide a glimpse into the Department of Justice’s self-regulation.

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This is the body charged with enforcing the law against you and me. They decide whether to charge people with crimes or look the other way. And while reading the list of investigations against DOJ employees from last quarter, I developed a deep concern that Lady Justice often appears to be afraid of prosecuting anyone within the DOJ.

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The list of investigations on pages 4 through 5 of the report identified serious misconduct – unwanted sexual contact, serious undisclosed conflicts of interest, inappropriately touching an intern’s chest, and the well-known “lack of openness” (also known as a federal employee’s lies). to the OIG. These cases all had one thing in common: they were all recommended for indictment and all resulted in a “prosecution denial”. This is just the last quarter.

One case was investigated against a US assistant attorney (AUSA) on charges of verbal and sexual harassment of an intern. The investigation found that the AUSA had also made sexually suggestive comments to three other people, including another AUSA, an FBI forensic scientist and a USPIS postal inspector. What was the result?

“The investigations were submitted to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office on July 1, 2019 and rejected on February 10, 2020, and presented to the Public Prosecutor’s Office on August 24, 2020 and rejected on the same day.”

I remember the results of the FISA abuse investigation: more than a dozen recommendations for action, only one of which resulted in a plea deal. None fully prosecuted.

Why isn’t Chairman Jerry Nadler, DN.Y. holding a DOJ Misconduct Hearing?

In some cases, if the investigation reveals criminal misconduct, a DOJ employee can simply leave the federal employment relationship to evade responsibility for inappropriateness.

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What’s going on in the DOJ? How can we trust this institution to apply the law fairly when they cannot even apply it objectively within the walls of their own buildings? More importantly, why do the stories of wrongdoing with the DOJ, especially the FBI, never seem to see the light of day?

According to the report, “at the end of the reporting period, the OIG had 90 criminal or administrative investigations into alleged wrongdoing related to FBI staff.”

This should be examined by the Justice Committees of the House and Senate. Why isn’t Chairman Jerry Nadler, DN.Y. holding a DOJ Misconduct Hearing? When the Republicans held a majority in the House of Representatives – and certainly during my presidency – we routinely called on DOJ leaders to answer for wrongdoing within their agency. It just doesn’t happen anymore.

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And who knows what will happen to John Durham’s investigation into the Russia collusion hoax. Even if he finds iron evidence, will he ever be prosecuted? Is it even reported?

It is becoming increasingly clear that the DOJ is losing the confidence of the American people, in part because it is unwilling to hold itself accountable and fully prosecute those whom we entrust special police powers.

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