By Samuel Chamberlain
Published October 16, 2018
A senior FBI official accepted two tickets to a professional sporting event from a television reporter who regularly covered the bureau, the Justice Department's internal watchdog said Tuesday.
The office of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the unnamed official had not reimbursed the correspondent for the tickets, despite initially claiming under oath that he had done so. The watchdog said that the official's actions violated federal regulations on gifts.
The Justice Department declined to prosecute the official, who has since retired from the FBI.
Horowitz's office also found that the official previously accepted a ticket to a different sporting event from the same reporter, as well as a ticket to a third sporting event from a different correspondent. The official said he had reimbursed the reporters for those tickets, but the watchdog said it found no evidence to support that claim and the official did not provide any proof.
The interaction was mentioned in a much broader inspector general report from June on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, including encounters between FBI employees and members of the news media.
The inspector general on Tuesday issued a two-page summary with more details on the tickets. The summary does not identify the reporters or the events in question.
The report concluded that the official had violated regulations barring federal employees from accepting gifts from prohibited sources, including members of the news media who do business with the employee's agency or who seek official action from it.