By Jon Dougherty

A barely-noticed announcement by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General on Wednesday said investigators have discovered that a high-ranking FBI official has been engaging in authorized leaks to the press of sensitive information.

The official, who was not named but identified as an FBI Deputy Assistant Director, “had numerous contacts with members of the media in violation of FBI policy,” according to a DoJ IG press release.

“Additionally, it was alleged that the DAD may have disclosed law enforcement or other sensitive information to the media without authorization,” the statement continued.

The IG’s office said it acted on a tip from within the FBI that the leaks were occurring. In addition, the DAD is also believed to have accepted gifts from members of the media, as well as having passed along “law enforcement” and other “sensitive information” to the press.

The statement noted further:

The OIG investigation concluded that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD: (1) disclosed to the media the existence of information that had been filed under seal in federal court, in violation of 18 USC § 401, Contempt of Court; (2) provided without authorization FBI law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on multiple occasions; and (3) had dozens of official contacts with the media without authorization, in violation of FBI policy.

The OIG also found that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD accepted a ticket, valued at approximately $225, to attend a media-sponsored dinner, as a gift from a member of the media, in violation of federal regulations and FBI policy.

Now for the bad news: The IG statement added, “Prosecution of the DAD was declined” — meaning the Justice Department refused to hold this official accountable.

“The OIG has completed this investigation and is providing this report to the FBI for appropriate action,” the statement noted. So maybe this official gets a slap on the wrist.

Because…the deep state takes care of its own.

This comes as POTUS Donald Trump and his administration have been beset by leaks of sensitive information to the press. And keep in mind, this wasn’t just an average FBI agent, it was a top official at the bureau — rubbing shoulders with the fake news media, taking gifts, and hobnobbing with them.

Still, there may be prosecutions to come.

“[T]here have been a number of leaks coming out of the Justice Department and FBI during high-profile investigations,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) told Attorney General William Barr during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this month.

In response, Barr acknowledged that “we have multiple criminal leak investigations underway.”

Keyword: “Criminal.”

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