Six months after dozens of FBI agents were sanctioned for sexual misconduct during James Comey’s reign as Director, The Wall Street Journal, the agency whose motto is Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity once again showed none-of-the-above as several FBI employees, stationed in cities across Asia, have been recalled to Washington in recent months while the agency investigates allegations related to parties and interactions with prostitutes.
According to people familiar with the matter, WSJ reports the Justice Department’s inspector general is examining the allegations, which involve Federal Bureau of Investigation personnel in some half a dozen cities, including in East and Southeast Asia.
In a statement, The FBI made a non-committal comment on what actions would be taken:
“Upon learning of these allegations of misconduct, action was taken to reassign certain personnel to non-operational roles while the allegations are reviewed.”
Just lucky none of the agents were accused of groping during their high-school years.
As The Journal points out so correctly, the allegations are a potential black eye for an agency that has become a magnet for criticism as it has tried to navigate some of the biggest political battles of the year.
Issues involving prostitution, which is legal or tolerated in some countries, have been a particular concern for FBI officials, who worry about foreign intelligence services trying to compromise agents or other U.S. embassy personnel, people familiar with the matter said.
Agents going overseas receive extensive briefings on potential avenues foreign officers may seek to compromise them, former agents said.
The exact nature of the allegations against the FBI employees, and the locations of the alleged activities, couldn’t be determined.
Other law enforcement agencies, including the Secret Service and the Drug Enforcement Administration, have dealt with similar scandals in recent years.
In 2015, the Justice Department’s inspector general found that DEA agents stationed in Colombia attended parties with prostitutes.
In 2012 the Secret Service disciplined about a dozen agents amid allegations that they brought prostitutes to their hotel rooms in Colombia while preparing for a visit by then-President Barack Obama.
One Twitter wit suggested the FBI be renamed “Foreign friends with Benefits Initiative,” and quite surprisingly there is not a mention of any Russian collusion or involvement in the procurement of said ladies of the night… though we suspect it will not be too long.