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Friday, September 22, 2017

Insight into FBI informant criminal activity

The FBI reports to the Department of Justice the total "Otherwise Illegal Activity" (OIA) that it authorizes its informants to engage in. In its most recent report due to an error, some of that data was missing--the total was down from 5,261 crimes to 381. The FBI explains that “When the FBI submitted 2016 data to the Justice Department regarding the Confidential Human Source Program one tier of data accidentally was not submitted." Presumably the FBI omitted Tier 2 crimes--the less serious tier. Here's the story which was featured on the Marshall Project's Opening Statement: FBI Severely Underreported How Many Times It Authorized Informants to Break the Law [Updated]

The 2017 Confidential Informant Accountability Act would expand the FBI's reporting requirement. The FBI (and all other federal investigative agencies) would have to report to Congress, not just DOJ. And it would have to report not only the crimes it authorized its informants to commit, but all the serious crimes that it has reason to believe that its informants committed while working for the agency.