While I know the report is supposed to be primarily about discovery, I found the list of “recommendations” at the end to be insulting, considering most of them are basically “oh, we got caught, how can we prevent that in the future.”
Any thoughts on this?
• We recommend that the Department and the FBI consider developing guidance that identifies the risks associated with and alternatives to permitting a witness to attend a voluntary interview of another witness (including in the witness’s capacity as counsel).
• We recommend that the Department consider making explicit that, except in situations where the law requires or permits disclosure, an investigating agency cannot publicly announce its recommended charging decision prior to consulting with the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Attorney, or his or her designee, and cannot proceed without the approval of one of these officials.
• We recommend that the Department and the FBI consider adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of Department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements.
• We recommend that the Department consider providing guidance to agents and prosecutors concerning the taking of overt investigative steps, indictments, public announcements, or other actions that could impact an election.
• We recommend that the Office of the Deputy Attorney General take steps to improve the retention and monitoring of text messages Department-wide.
• We recommend that the FBI add a warning banner to all of the FBI’s mobile phones and devices in order to further notify users that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
• We recommend that the FBI consider (a) assessing whether it has provided adequate training to employees about the proper use of text messages and instant messages, including any related discovery obligations, and (b) providing additional guidance about the allowable uses of FBI devices for any nongovernmental purpose, including guidance about the use of FBI devices for political conversations.
• We recommend that the FBI consider whether (a) it is appropriately educating employees about both its media contact policy and the Department’s ethics rules pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, and (b) its disciplinary provisions and penalties are sufficient to deter such improper conduct.
• We recommend that Department ethics officials include the review of campaign donations for possible conflict issues when Department employees or their spouses run for public office.
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