A top official with the FBI might have broken the law, according to a GOP senator, for making “partisan posts” that heavily criticized former President Donald Trump, along with taking a few shots at U.S. Attorney General William Barr, says a U.S. Department of Justice watchdog.
It’s perfectly acceptable for people who work in agencies like the FBI to have a personal opinion about things happening in the country and concerning the president. However, they are to keep those opinions to themselves and not post them all over the Internet like an angry teenage girl who just got dumped by her boyfriend.
These folks, especially those at the FBI, are to remain impartial as much as possible in order to effectively do their jobs.
According to WND, “DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz informed Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley Wednesday that his body will refer assistant FBI special agent Timothy Thibault’s ‘potential violations of the Hatch Act’ to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC). In May, Grassley urged Horowitz to investigate Thibault “for potential violations of federal regulations and Department guidelines designed to prevent political bias from infecting FBI matters.”
“After carefully reviewing the information in your letter, we determined that some of the allegations and conduct you described in your letter implicate potential violations of the Hatch Act, which limits certain political activities of federal employees,” Horowitz went on to say in a letter addressed to Grassley. “The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is responsible for investigating and prosecuting alleged violations of the Hatch Act.”
“As a result, we have referred the relevant allegations to OSC to review and respond as it deems appropriate,” Horowitz continued.
A spokesperson for the FBI gave a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation, saying, “any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and referred to the Inspection division” and that “all FBI employees are held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct.”
The Hatch Act, which was passed and signed into law back in 1939, “limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs,” according to information from the OSC.
The law exists to make sure “federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan way.”
Grassley penned a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and one to FBI Director Christopher Wray last month, which included a June 14th deadline to hand over documents that are connected to Thibault and the work he’s doing for the bureau.
Here is more information from the WND report:
Thibault, who has overseen “the FBI’s most significant federal public corruption investigations,” has demonstrated “a pattern of improper commentary” on social media with regard to Trump and Barr, Grassley said. Thibault’s LinkedIn network is comprised of “current and former FBI personnel” and he has posted publicly, the senator said.
The FBI official “liked” a LinkedIn post for a February 2020 opinion article in The Washington Post arguing the DOJ should have convicted longtime Trump friend and former campaign adviser Roger Stone in connection with the Russian probe, according to Grassley. Thibault also “liked” a September 2020 opinion article in The Washington Post on LinkedIn titled “William Barr Has Gone Rogue,” the senator said.
Tom Jones, executive director of the federal watchdog American Accountability Foundation, told TheDCNF that given that “public corruption investigations” are some of the “most sensitive” cases, officials should not act partisan.
“The fact that there are agents who cannot seem to set their political biases aside will have a corrosive effect on public confidence in public corruption investigations for a division that has been struggling to reassure the public for decades of its impartiality,” he then stated.
Thibault also retweeted a post two years ago, 2020, by the hardcore anti-Trump organization the Lincoln Project which featured an article published by The Atlantic called, “Donald Trump is a Broken Man,” according to Sen. Grassley.
Also in 2020, Thibault took it upon himself to tweet at GOP Rep. Liz Cheney saying that her father was a “disgrace,” Grassley said.