The FBI’s Inspection Division has launched an internal investigation into a string of tweets from the @FBIRecordsDivision account, according to an exclusive report from ThinkProgress. The account had been inactive for more than a year before this week, when it sprang to life with a string of tweets publishing records from a years-old investigation into then-president Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich in 2001. The account also tweeted its archive on Donald Trump’s father Fred Trump, whom the account hailed as a “philanthropist.”
Under the Hatch Act, the FBI and its employees are forbidden from taking an active role in election activities. But some critics have argued that the bureau overstepped that line with FBI Director Comey’s July press conference, which criticized Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for classified communication while simultaneously declining to recommend criminal charges.
Today’s news comes amid a more recent wave of criticism from both parties. On Sunday, a former White House ethics lawyer publicly accused Director Comey of violating the Hatch Act by disclosing details of the newly active investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server less than two weeks before Election Day. Director Comey has also been subjected to blistering criticism from the 16-year-old subject of the ongoing Anthony Weiner sexting case, who publicly accused Comey of publicizing the case for political gain in an open letter published yesterday by BuzzFeed News.
“You have assisted him in further victimizing me on every news outlet,” the still-anonymous subject wrote. “I can only assume that you saw an opportunity for political propaganda.”