Senator Chuck Grassley has revealed that 665 FBI agents facing misconduct investigations quit or retired from the bureau between 2004 and 2020 to avoid being punished.
Grassley posted brief excerpts from two internal documents that were sent to him and the Senate Judiciary Committee by a whistleblower.
One document, titled "Retirements and Resignations During Unwelcome Sexual Conduct Adjudications," noted that 45 senior-level employees were among the 665 agents who left the agency while under investigation.
"665 FBI employees, including 45 [Senior Executive Service (SES)]-level employees have retired or resigned following an FBI or [Justice Department Office of Inspector General (OIG)] investigation into alleged misconduct, but prior to [the Office of Professional Responsibility's (OPR)] issuance of a final disciplinary letter," the document said.
The second document noted that the agency has failed to implement a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual misconduct that was put in place by FBI Director Christopher Wray in December 2020.
"[R]ecent sexual misconduct cases appear to show OPR's application of this directive has resulted in seemingly random penalties and disparate treatment, potentially compromising the consistency, fairness, and due process of the FBI's disciplinary system."
Grassley demanded answers about the issue in a letter to Wray and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
"Simply put, these two documents show a systemic failure within the Justice Department and FBI to protect female employees from sexual harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace and a failure to sufficiently punish employees for that same misconduct," Grassley wrote. "FBI employees should not have to suffer under daily abuse and misconduct by their colleagues and supervisors."