Shorter DOJ: It’s No Big Deal if DEA Agents Destroy Evidence

DOJ’s Inspector General wrote Senators Collins and Lieberman a letter summarizing its investigation into DEA Agents involved in the Secret Service sex scandal in Cartagena, Colombia.

What’s getting attention is that the DEA agents arranged a prostitute for a SS Agent. All three engaged sex workers the night in question.

But what should be getting attention is that the DEA agents, when they learned about the scope of the investigation, deleted incriminating information from their Blackberries. And DOJ–in part because it conducted compelled interviews it knew couldn’t be used in a prosecution–won’t charge them.

The OIG investigation found further that all three DEA agents had deleted data from their DEA issued Blackberry devices, and that DEA agents #1 and #2 did so after learning of the scope and nature of the OIG’s investigation. DEA agent #1 admitted to the OIG that he deleted relevant data from his Blackberry after being requested to surrender his device to the OIG. DEA agent #2 stated that he “wiped” all data from his Blackberry before providing it to the OIG, but denied that he intended to obstruct the OIG investigation. He stated that he wiped all data from his Blackberry in an effort to conceal embarrassing communications between him and his wife.

The investigation was an administrative review and all of the interviews of the DEA agents were compelled. Given all of those facts and circumstances, we did not view the matter to warrant criminal prosecution.

By compelling the interviews, the IG effectively immunized the DEA Agents, ensuring they could not be charged with obstruction. Not to mention, the Scott Bloch precedent–in which he deleted evidence and now DOJ is bending over backward to make sure he doesn’t pay any price for lying about doing so–makes it clear that DOJ will never prosecute one of its own for the kind of crime they prosecute others for all the time.

Still, let it be know that DOJ doesn’t give a shit that its DEA Agents obstruct justice and delete evidence.

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8 Responses to Shorter DOJ: It’s No Big Deal if DEA Agents Destroy Evidence

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @mike_stark @AriMelber But, hey, there is nmo reason the media sou;d understand or cover that with real criminal trial experts.
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bmaz @mike_stark @AriMelber ... as ANY other GJ would get. Bet just leaves GJ w/a bunch of statute cites+says good luck. Which is NEVER done.
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bmaz @mike_stark @AriMelber ...for a vote as "draft indictment" by the GJ. This is months long+I bet McCulloch never submits a draft indictment..
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bmaz @mike_stark @AriMelber ...this would, with not much variance, be a 2-3 hr grand jury presentation, with definitive charges submitted...
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bmaz @mike_stark @AriMelber Here is what I DO know from 30 yrs crim law experience (27 trial level): in ANY other homicide under similar facts...
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bmaz @DavidSug @walterwkatz Yup on all fronts.
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bmaz @DavidSug @walterwkatz I am talking to you Sugerman! Honestly, from what I know, none of this is secure. But, still, sometimes stop+wonder
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bmaz @DavidSug @walterwkatz I separate ID's, but apparently things catching up to me.
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bmaz Whoa, just switched from the Dead Pirates game, and Law+Order SVU has an elevator video case! #SnatchedFromHeadlines
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bmaz @DavidSug @walterwkatz Yo, young, but in law school. Watched that commercial live and was mesmerized.
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bmaz @walterwkatz @DavidSug I don't use Chr or FFox
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bmaz @shenebraskan @DavidSug @walterwkatz Tried it long ago. Was too slow and worthless.
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