DC: A bombshell inspector general report released Thursday revealed that several FBI employees improperly received gifts from reporters, in connection with possible leaks of sensitive information.
Although public details of these exchanges are scant, they could constitute prosecutable violations of federal gift-giving rules.
The gifts in question included “tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events.”
“We will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy,” the report reads.
Gifting rules for executive branch officials are strict and exacting. The U.S. Office of Government Ethics provides that “executive branch employees may not solicit or accept gifts that are given because of their official positions or that come from certain interested sources (‘prohibited sources’).”
The rules define a prohibited source as a person who:
- Is seeking official action by, is doing business or seeking to do business with, or is regulated by the employee’s agency; or
- Has interests that may be substantially affected by performance or nonperformance of the employee’s official duties.