FBI Agents: Shutdown Is Crippling Investigations

Members of the executive board of the FBI Agents Association gathered Tuesday for a press conference to discuss the consequences of the ongoing partial government shutdown on FBI operations and national security. “I want to make one point clear: Agents were working cases yesterday, are working cases today, and will be working cases tomorrow. They are doing so without pay and under increasingly challenging conditions,” said FBIAA President Tom O’Connor in his opening statement. O’Connor went on to stress how the lack of funding affects essential FBI operations, such as investigations into crimes against children and terrorism. The association compiled stories from anonymous FBI special agents about how the shutdown has impacted their work in a report titled “Voices from the Field.” One agent, who identified themselves as a Joint Terrorism Task Force coordinator, said that during the shutdown agents are unable to pay confidential human sources, hindering counter-terrorism investigations. “We have lost several sources who’ve worked for months, and years, to penetrate groups and target subjects, these assets cannot be replaced,” the agent said. “Serving my country has always been a privilege, but it has never been so hard or thankless.”

The shutdown has now gone into its fourth week without any resolution in sight. President Trump offered to end the government shutdown with concessions on DACA, but it was not seen as a substantive trade by Democrats. “The shutdown has eliminated any ability to operate... it’s bad enough to work without pay,” said another Western Region agent. “The fear is our enemies know they can run freely.”