Rep. Matt Gaetz says evidence of FBI officials improperly receiving incentives from the media in exchange for leaks will soon come out.
During an interview on Fox News late Saturday, the Florida Republican said the Justice Department inspector general is examining the FBI’s relationship with some members of the press. But, he said some of this information will be made public before the watchdog report’s release.
“One of the other nuggets that the inspector general is working on is the corruption that existed between the media and members of of the FBI,” Gaetz said. “Where members of the mainstream media were giving concert passes and athletic tickets and other incentives to people in the FBI to leak to them so we’ll be seeing that even before we see the inspector general’s report on how this fraudulent investigation began.”
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced the initiation of a FISA abuse investigation in March 2018 after requests from both then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Republican members in Congress. He is expected to wrap up by May or June.
It’s unclear where Gaetz may have gotten his information. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, his fellow GOP colleagues Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan recently said they discussed the FISA investigation with Horowitz. The lawmakers claimed the Justice Department and FBI had abused the FISA process and misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in their investigation and surveillance of President Trump and his associates during the campaign, as well as during the Trump administration.
Gaetz questioned the veracity of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, noting how he cited media reports “as if they’re gospel when they clearly are not.”
Mueller’s report, which was released in redacted form on Thursday, found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mueller declined to make a conclusion about possible obstruction of justice by the president.
The DOJ inspector general released a report last summer that found many FBI officials talking to the press and attending “social events” with the media during the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private emails, breaking with FBI policy limiting employees who are authorized to speak to the media.
In October, the inspector general released more information in a summary that said a senior FBI official, who had since retired, accepted tickets to a sports event from a television reporter who regularly covered the bureau.