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DOJ watchdog: FBI violates rules for confidential informants

[JURIST] The Office of the Inspector General [official website] of the Department of Justice [official website] released a report [PDF text; PDF appendices] Monday revealing that federal agents frequently violate the FBI's guidelines for dealing with confidential informants. After assessing 120 confidential informant files from FBI offices around the country, Inspector General Glenn A. Fine [official profile] said the investigation revealed that 87 percent of cases involved one or more violations. Failures included poor assessment of informants' suitability, lack of authorization for informant activity that otherwise would be deemed illegal, and not telling prosecutors when informants had committed serious crimes. The Attorney General's Investigative Guidelines [text] section on informants was rewritten in 2001, after incidents in the 1990s in which FBI agents aided members of the mafia in avoiding prosecution. AP has more.

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