Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) demands more details concerning why the FBI has used female staffer’s sexual pictures for sex trafficking cases to lure out online sexual predators. 

“Due to the reckless actions of these special agents and the indifference of the FBI, there is no way of knowing how many times these images have been downloaded, copied, or further shared across the internet,” Ernst wrote in a letter to FBI Director Chris Wray.

 

Ernst continued in her letter, “The Federal Bureau of Investigation has endangered the women who have chosen to serve under them by not addressing this before it became a problem. In light of this report, and for Congress to exercise its legislative and oversight authority, I ask you to respond to the questions below with urgency.”

 Wrapping up her thoughts, Ernst calls into question when exactly The FBI was made aware of the issue of special agents using female pictures during investigations and how many special agents were allegedly found to have participated in this sort of egregious display of law enforcement. 

Earlier this month, the Department Of Justice Inspector General released a report on an investigation concluding that a special agent used female staffer’s pictures to lure out sexual predators on the web without the staffer’s consent. 

“During its investigation into the incident, the OIG found that the FBI agents ‘sometimes used photographs of young female support staff employees to pose as minor children or sex workers to entice sexual predators.’ However, no documentation around this use was recorded in this particular case, meaning the Bureau did not have information on how long the photos would appear on the web,” according to Newsweek. 

The DOJ report alleged that the agent in question told female staffers not to tell anyone they provided the photos and did not inform their supervisors about the ordeal. 

In response to the investigation’s recommendations listed in the DOJ report, FBI Executive Director Brian Turner responded with the following:

“The FBI fully accepts these recommendations. In the coming weeks, the FBI will evaluate existing policy and determine which policies require adjustment, drafting new language to establish needed guidelines.”

You can find Sen. Ernst’s letter to the FBI below.

IFR- ERNST-letter-to-director-wray