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analysis of those recommendations and whether you think they are good or bad.
Mr. KELLEY. I would like to answer this, if possible, with a written document. We have, however, given great attention to it. It has been the subject that we received by the Department and us, working together, to try to formulate the guideposts for this activity. I assure you they have not been ignored.
Mr. PREYER. We look forward to your comments in more detail for the record on that.
[See app. 4.] Mr. PREYER. Do you feel that they are good recommendations on the whole?
Mr. KELLEY. I do not feel I can make any overall assessment, but I do feel that a conscientious effort was made to try to develop some guidelines. Even now what we recommend is a charter so that there will be a clear understanding of what should be done.
Mr. PREYER. The GAO examination of the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility, which GAO testified about last week, found that there were 162 major cases, as they described it, handled by the Office of Professional Responsibility during the first 5 months of this year. Some of these clearly involved individual wrongdoing, such as drunken driving or sexual misconduct.
Were there other instances where the conduct was job-related, where the employee's conduct occurred on behalf of the FBI? That would be such things as improper or undue coercive questioning of a witness or of a suspect where the agent may have throught he was doing his job but went beyond permissible bounds.
Have incidents of this kind occurred and if so, how many?
Mr. KELLEY. May I have my Assistant Director, Mr. De Bruler respond to that?
Mr. DEBRULER. I do not have a number at my disposal. We have had cases of this nature returned to us, such as failure to return evidence in a case which might be involved in litigation and involved with U.S. attorneys. We have had allegations of short-sighted investigations where enough work has not been thought to have been done. It is that type of thing. These are work related. We have investigated them.
Mr. PREYER. What sort of investigation occurs when a work-related allegation is made of this sort?
Mr. DEBRULER. We are going to interview all of the essential witnesses or people who have knowledge concerning the incident, be it the U.S. attorney, all the agents who participated, the supervisory personnel. Everyone who would have knowledge would be interviewed.
Mr. PREYER. Have you had enough allegations of this sort to indicate that the misconduct ever occurs in a pattern so that perhaps a supervisor is permitting too much latitude ?
Mr. DEBRULER. No, sir. We have not had any indications of that as yet during our tenure in OPR. It has not been organized too long. Perhaps in October, 1 year from when we began to set up the division, we will have an indication. But for practical purposes OPR was not operative until November 1976. We have not had any repeat activities that have come to our attention on the same type offense during that period of time nor have we had any indications of repeat activities on the part of supervisory personnel.
Mr. PREYER. Would you be looking for that sort of pattern?
Mr. DEBRULER. Yes; we would. We do monitor all of the serious allegations and allegations of criminality in that division. We monitor the punishment that is issued in each of these instances. We do have the capability of making that determination of a pattern developing by continuous review. Mr. PREYER. I think I have probably gone beyond my 5 minutes. I recognize Mr. Ryan. Mr. Ryan. Mr. Kelley, I want to commend you for taking on one of those difficult jobs, not only in your own time but in the history of this country. It is a time when the FBI has been under attack from several different directions by a pretty steady hand under some pretty heavy fire. And through it, you have maintained your high level of performance. I think that is extremely commendable. I think it assures you a permanent place in terms of a great reputation at the Bureau.
I think the FBI has come a long way from the days when it could find time to investigate Helen Keller, Jane Adams, and Felix Frankfurter for radical activity, like helping the poor. The activities that you have engaged in, in the last few months are a long way from that. I hope it will become an institutional matter.
I guess in the time I have I would like to pursue a particular area which has to do with internal monitoring of your own agents themselves.
How many agents are there now in the Bureau ?
Mr. Ryan. That is an extremely large force of highly trained personnel. From my own experience in this area in simply oversight of police functions, it is inevitable that there be within the organization itself some agents who are more lax than they should be about their own conduct and the way they view their job.
There will be other agents who are straight arrow and who take their job very seriously and are very professional. Inevitably there comes a time when there is a conflict between what they are supposed to do by the letter and what they may feel compelled to do by way of pressures, social pressures.
I am referencing now an agent who either consciously or unconsciously violates the rules of the Bureau itself or more seriously perhaps violates the law itself.
Do you believe that it is possible now for an agent to view his activities on a thoroughly professional basis and be able to report violations in the event that he sees them?
Mr. KELLEY. I believe so, Congressman.
Mr. Ryan. What will happen if he reported a superior for some substantive violation? Who would he report to?
Mr. KELLEY. He would report to his superior or he has an avenue of reporting directly to me, either in person or by letter. And, we have had a number of instances insofar as personnel is concerned. These are not incidents themselves but a number of people have reported matters which they thought were wrong and needed some adjustment. There has been no action taken against the so-called whistle-blower or whatever you might term them. They are felt to be people who are anxious to try to bring us to a higher level of efficiency and productivity and conformance.
Mr. Ryan. Are you saying that the whistle-blower who thinks he do you
sees a violation—perhaps we will leave that open to question. But is there any understanding in the agency itself, in the Bureau itself, that if an agent writes to you about a matter that is serious—and he has to use some judgment himself-No. 1 that you will read the letter
— yourself and No. 2, that there will be no penalty assessed on him for making the effort ?
Mr. KELLEY. That is true. There is no penalty. It is understood. It is within our rules and regulations. I do not think there is any reluctance by an employee to do so.
Mr. Ryan. I think that is most reassuring to those who are in your organization.
When you became Director, you were told, I believe, that in 1966, or I think you testified before Congress that you knew about no illegal break-ins. Subsequent to that time we found there were illegal breakins. This was after you were Director.
You just reassured me that there are alternative avenues by which a professional FBI agent may, if he sees fit, take whatever action he feels he must take on an internal matter. You have reassured me. But
think you have gotten enough control by now to be able to reassure me, with full knowledge, as opposed to what it was 10 years ago?
Mr. KELLEY. There were some instances, allegedly. I must say "allegedly" because I am not privy to the investigation. If they existed, I was not told about them. I was deceived because I asked many times: “Has this happened in the past, during the period 1966 up to the time I came aboard?
Since that time—and I announced that I had been deceived—I have appeared before all of our offices and the personnel and the agents involved and all of the people in Washington. I have told them this cannot happen again. I have also told them something I feel is very true. There are no secrets anymore. It will come out. No matter what it is, it will come out.
So, I feel that it is highly unlikely that this will happen again.
Mr. Ryan. What happened-did you identify any of those who deceived you, and if you did, can you tell us what happened to any of them?
Mr. KELLEY. I am not privy to the investigation. I have no names given me. The only one I have is that gentleman who has been indicted. I know, of course, of some who have been brought before the grand jury. Maybe they testified as a witness, or maybe as a possible subject. But I have no information. I therefore cannot pinpoint anyone who deceived me.
Mr. Ryan. I do not see how it is possible to be deceived. Somebody has to say something to you which later turns out to be a deception in your mind. Is there some other way?
Mr. KELLEY. They told me that there was no activity of that type. Mr. Ryan. Who told you that?
Mr. KELLEY. Everyone whom I contacted. That would be the entire staff of the executive conference. There were numerous other people, all of whom I cannot recount.
Mr. Ryan. Who are the executive conference people?
Mr. RYAN. Are members on the executive conference who were there at the time these deceptions occurred ?
Mr. KELLEY. Yes, some.
Mr. Ryan. Do you believe, or have you talked with them about the deceptions that occurred ?
Mr. KELLEY. I have not.
Mr. KELLEY. No, sir, I have talked with the Civil Rights Section which is handling the prosecution. They said there should be no action taken in that regard until the prosecutive steps have been finished.
Mr. Ryan. The reason I asked the question is this—I am back to being a little bit more unsure of myself in connection with your effort to provide the cleanest possible internal check. If an agent knows, or if someone who is a supervisor or someone
a here in Washington in a high position knows that he will not be sanctioned for engaging in a deception, then what will prevent him from doing it?
Mr. KELLEY. It may not be that there will be any prosecutive action contemplated in such a matter. In that case I will present it to the Department. I think probably they will permit us to go ahead and take such disciplinary action as is necessary. Or they will have us do the investigating rather than they do the investigating, as has been done in this case.
Mr. Ryan. I would like to pursue this a little further, Mr. Chairman, but I think my time has run out.
The point that means the most to me in all of this is this. There must be confidence on the part of the Congress. There must be confidence on the part of the American people. The FBI must be what it appears to be.
Years and years ago before my time and your time probably the effort was begun to make the FBI the most prestigious, the most illustrious, the most pure, the most perfect kind of police force that any nation could have. Certainly within the Nation itself it was one which any other police force could look at as being an ideal and a model. That is a large order, especially from where the FBI came originally just after World War I.
We still have that impression today. Certainly your own person would indicate that we are trying to make that effort within the FBI. But in order to maintain that confidence, I still say, Mr. Kelley, that there must be some indication that internally, when someone goes wrong—and there is someone bound to be going wrong in the FBI on occasion because human beings are human beings, and even if it is not a violation of criminal law—when those things occur the FBI has put itself in that position and must be in that position—those kinds of errors or transgressions should be open to public view when they happen.
I am concerned about the degree of deception that occurred years ago and what has happened to those who were guilty of those deceptions. Even if they were not guilty in a criminal sense they were guilty in the sense of betraying the standards and the ideals which the FBI claims to have.
So, when there is a violation, when there is someone who makes a mistake, then they should be subject to at least the view by the public
that there is on occasion a transgressor who can be punished and will
a be punished. This should be if for no other reason that the agents within the agency recognize that they are not above the law and not above being penalized by the Director himself in the event they take actions contrary to the best interest of the service.
Mr. KELLEY. As soon as the information is released to us by the Department, we will take immediate action. It will perhaps be supplemented with our own Inspection Division making some checks, but as quickly as that is released to us we will take the action.
Mr. Ryan. Thank you.
Mr. QUAYLE. I would like to take a hypothetical case where an agent thinks that an impropriety of a fellow agent has taken place. What is the procedure that he is to follow in reporting this impropriety that he believes has been committed!
Mr. Kelley. He can report it himself to me or any official in the Bureau. He can do this in person or by letter.
As some do—we cannot prove it—he can report it by anonymous letter. We do, on occasion, find that this avenue is used.
It can be done by reporting it to a Congressman, to a Senator, or to a member of the executive branch of Government, particularly the Office of Professional Responsibility of the Department. All of them are channeled back to us, and we take the action, as outlined in the allegation.
Mr. QUAYLE. All these allegations or complaints would be channeled back to the OPR?
Mr. KELLEY. Yes, they will
Mr. QUAYLE. Is this type of procedure written down as far as instructions are concerned or memorandums from you are concerned, that is, to the agents?
Mr. KELLEY. I am confident that it is. Whether it is quite as broad as I have outlined it, I am not sure. I think it is rather broad language that the agent has the avenue of reporting it and that it will come to me. As to whether or not it would be one that was referred to a Congressman or a Senator I do not know whether we have said that in the instructions. But any that comes to us will be acted upon. We do say that certainly. He has a ready access to me.
Mr. QUAYLE. What would be the purpose of taking an allegation to a Congressman or a Senator rather than directly to you or to the OPR?
Mr. KELLEY. I cannot answer that except to the point that where he feels possibly secure it will come to my desk. That is all I can say. This happens on occasion.
Mr. QUAYLE. I am following up on Mr. Ryan's idea about having an understanding among the agents that there would be no sanctions against him if the allegation would be proven to be unfounded or that there would be sanctions against him in his career as an FBI agent.
Mr. KELLEY. There is that assurance given.
Mr. QUAYLE. Of the 199 allegations that have come out in the last 5 or 6 months, give me a rough percentage of how many have come from fellow FBI agents.
Mr. DEBRULER. I do not know if I can give you an exact percentage. The greatest percentage does come from agents assigned to the field who in turn receive them from private citizens and other sources. Many