The Inspector General’s office of the Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that a draft report containing non-public information was leaked to the media by one of their employees, Fox News informed.
The IG’s office stated that after hearing about the leaked paper, they reported the matter to the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s Integrity Committee for investigating it further.
While the committee refused to examine because no allegations against anyone in their jurisdiction were made, another Inspector General’s office was chosen to conduct an independent investigation.
The independent probe concluded that the former employee was responsible for disclosing sensitive data about the DOJ OIG review to the various media outlets on several occasions, even before the review was officially published, and this was performed without any authorization from the DOJ OIG, the summary of the investigation stated.
The now-former DOJ Inspector General employee’s phone records were examined as part of the investigation, and they “evidenced numerous and lengthy phone calls between the then DOJ OIG employee and the media outlets’ reporters during the time frame in which news stories were released about the then-ongoing DOJ OIG audit.”
According to the summary, the employee “stepped down” right before they and some other employees “were requested to give sworn responses to a questionnaire about the unlawful media disclosures.”
The only person who refused to answer questions was the now-former employee, who also refused to be questioned by investigators after their resignation, according to the DOJ IG’s office, which also noted that they cannot use subpoena power over ex staff, including those who resigned during ongoing probes.
The probe found that the now-former employee had broken office rules as well as federal ethics regulations.
The office that conducted the investigation also sent its report to the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility “for appropriate action” because the former employee is a lawyer.