Dysfunction in FBI, Insiders Claim

FBI Headquarters | Image by Kristi Blokhin/Shutterstock

The FBI is rife with mismanagement, dysfunction, and internal conflict, some agency insiders recently claimed.

These revelations came to light during a trial over a lawsuit accusing the Federal Bureau of Investigation of gender discrimination, as reported by Politico.

While the jury favored the bureau, several witnesses testified to the allegedly chaotic and defective inner workings of the agency. One of these witnesses was attorney Jim Baker, who became the FBI’s general counsel in 2014.

He testified that when he assumed the role, his staff of approximately 200 attorneys was overworked and wrought with infighting.

Baker said that he was persuaded to take the position despite former FBI Director James Comey describing it as “the worst job in the FBI,” per Politico.

An attorney for the Department of Justice (DOJ) defending the FBI reportedly said the Office of the General Counsel was “a low morale organization” when Baker assumed leadership, per Politico.

Baker described staff members as being so afraid of each other that they refused to raise concerns openly, opting “frequently” to slide anonymous notes underneath his door after office hours.

“People were so afraid to be seen talking to me,” he said. “They were afraid of some of the leadership that was still in the office.”

Baker also claimed that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz threatened to open a formal investigation into a senior lawyer in his office over a dispute regarding how much access the inspector general has to FBI files.

The trial also revealed additional details about alleged internal dysfunction within the agency. Among other details, a senior lawyer was accused of throwing a chair during a meeting.

Officials within the FBI claimed there was extensive “grade inflation” in the agency’s yearly performance reviews, per Politico. They explained that this yielded problems later on when staff members were not as proficient as their performance reviews claimed.

Marciann Grzadzinski, who filed the initial discrimination lawsuit, testified that FBI staff frequently referred to the date they became eligible for retirement as their “Kiss My Ass” date, per Politico.

Grzadzinski alleged in the lawsuit that Baker “made a series of decisions [including] eliminating her DGC position … demoting her” and eventually removing her from the Senior Executive Service “based on his animus towards women.”

After a five-day trial, the jury ultimately found there was not enough evidence to prove discrimination on the basis of sex.

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  1. Charles Moncrief

    I’m not an insider. But I will tell you flat out, that the FBI is dysfunctional. There are good people at the bottom rungs of their ladder, but there are filthy monsters at the top.

    This presidential administration has turned the FBI into a crazed gestapo, as bad as the KGB in the days depicted in The Gulag Archipelago. Makes J. Edgar Hoover look like a Sunday school teacher.

    • William Ewardson Danielson

      Spoken like a true Dalles Bircher.

      • Charles Moncrief

        Why not consider joining the John Birch Society? At the very least, they will teach you how to spell Dallas.

    • Janet

      “Dysfunctional” FBI? “Crazed gestapo”? Sounds like a disgruntled employee. Jury ruled in favor of the bureau.


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