WASHINGTON – Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), is
seeking Justice Department records regarding the work history of a senior FBI
official following revelations of his apparent political bias on social media
channels. Department guidelines require employees to avoid even the appearance
of bias, which could undermine investigations or call into question the
credibility of the department’s work. However, Timothy Thibault, an assistant
special agent in charge (ASAC) at the FBI’s Washington Field Office engaged
with and amplified partisan content on social media, sometimes under the label
of his official job title. Thibault is assigned to oversee public corruption
matters, which are often highly sensitive, and involve political figures.
come to my attention that while serving in a highly sensitive role that
includes threshold decision-making over which Federal public corruption matters
are opened for investigation, Assistant Special Agent in Charge (“ASAC”) at the
Washington Field Office, Timothy Thibault, likely violated several federal
regulations and Department guidelines designed to prevent political bias from
infecting FBI matters, including the Attorney General Guidelines for Domestic
FBI Operations and FBI social media policies. … ASAC Thibault has demonstrated
a pattern of active public partisanship, such as using his official title for
public partisan posts relating to his superiors and matters under the FBI’s
purview, that is likely a violation of his ethical obligations as an FBI
employee,” Grassley wrote in a
letter today to Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Chris Wray.
letter cited politically charged content from Thibault’s LinkedIn profile, including
content directly related to Justice Department activity, where he identified
himself as “Assistant Special Agent in Charge.” He also created and posted partisan content on Twitter.
also wrote to the Inspector General requesting an investigation into Thibault
for potential violations of rules and regulations designed to prevent political
bias from infecting FBI matters.
frequently hears from current and former government employees who come forward
to shine a light on fraud, waste, abuse and gross mismanagement in government
agencies or by government contractors.
He protects the identities of these sources and frequently promotes
policies that shield whistleblowers from retaliation. Individuals wishing to
call attention to mismanagement or misconduct within the Justice Department and
its component agencies, such as the FBI, should contact Sen. Grassley’s investigations
unit at (202) 224-3738 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
text of Grassley’s letter to the Justice Department and FBI can be found HERE.
text of Grassley’s letter to the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector
General can be found HERE.