- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2003

An FBI assistant director charged with policing FBI misconduct "exercised poor judgment" and "gave the clear impression of retaliation" against a veteran agent who questioned the propriety of investigations of misconduct by senior FBI officials, a report said yesterday.
The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General said the retaliation was led by FBI Assistant Director Robert J. Jordan and targeted John Roberts, chief of the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility, after a "60 Minutes" broadcast in which Mr. Roberts discussed a double standard of discipline within the FBI.
The report, released by Senate Judiciary Committee members Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, said Mr. Jordan conceded passing over Mr. Roberts for the position of acting deputy because of his "60 Minutes" comments, even though he had seniority and had held the position in the past.
This choice "left the clear appearance of retaliation against Roberts for his statements on 60 Minutes," the report said. IG investigators also cited statements by Mr. Jordan at an FBI meeting that "implied that Roberts would have some action resolved against him" for his "60 Minutes" comments.
The report also said FBI Deputy Director Bruce Gebhardt wrote in an e-mail message to Mr. Jordan that, "If we have internal problems then I would rather find solutions and fix them, rather than tell the world on 60 Minutes. In my opinion, Roberts brought discredit to the FBI Badge, and the 27,000 employees at the FBI. I can't remember when I've been this disappointed."
It said Mr. Jordan's response was: "I could not agree with you more."
Although the report absolved FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III of any involvement in the matter, Mr. Grassley questioned whether the director "needs to think hard about whether people like Bob Jordan and Bruce Gebhardt should really have a place of authority in the FBI."
Mr. Leahy called FBI efforts to retaliate against Mr. Roberts "a travesty to him and his family, as well as to the FBI, the Congress and the American people."
The FBI yesterday said the inspector general's findings are being "thoroughly reviewed" by senior FBI management.
Mr. Roberts investigated, among other cases, the FBI's handling of the siege at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and the "Pottsgate" scandal, in which senior FBI officials were flown cross-country at taxpayer expense for a sham conference to attend a retirement party for former FBI Deputy Director Larry Potts.
In July, Mr. Roberts told the Judiciary Committee that senior FBI managers threatened and intimidated him during the Ruby Ridge probe. Vicki Weaver, her 14-year-old son, Samuel, and Deputy U.S. Marshal William F. Degan were killed in the August 1992 standoff.
Mr. Roberts said his 1999 investigation uncovered the fact that several senior FBI supervisors were involved in "serious misconduct" during the incident, but nobody was ever charged or disciplined because of FBI cronyism.
He testified that a review of an initial FBI inquiry into the standoff shortly after it occurred found that "significant interviews" had not been done and that accusations of misconduct by the senior FBI managers had never been investigated.
Mr. Roberts also said that "critical interviews" of agents assigned to a command post in the standoff were never done and a required "after-action report" outlining the FBI's role in the incident turned up missing.
He testified that during the Ruby Ridge inquiry, he was told by senior FBI managers that his assignment to investigate Ruby Ridge "could have an impact" on his career.


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