January 10, 2020 – Another top FBI official is caught leaking sensitive information to the media and will not be prosecuted

In Email/Dossier Investigations by Katie Weddington

“The name of a former top FBI official who leaked sensitive information over the course of hundreds of communications with at least six reporters can be revealed by the Washington Examiner.

Bryan Paarmann gives a guest lecture to cadets at the Combating Terrorism Center on October 6, 2017. (Credit: public domain)

His identity is contained in a 21-page report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The report reveals that investigators for the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz determined that Bryan Paarmann, 53, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s international operations division from 2016 to 2017, “improperly disclosed court-sealed and law enforcement sensitive information to the media” in violation of FBI rules.

The incident is one Horowitz included as part of what his June 2018 report called the FBI’s “culture of unauthorized media contacts.” A one-page summary of the investigation was released last May.

But Paarmann defended his actions.

“I gave 35 years of faithful and devoted service to this nation and never did I give classified or investigatively sensitive information to the press,” Paarmann told the Washington Examiner. “I never endangered a prosecution and only did what I believed my superiors had tasked me with.”

Although most identifying details about the reporters in question and the cases Paarmann was leaking details of were redacted, the Washington Examiner was able to identify one of the reporters in question, Los Angeles Times reporter Del Wilber, and two of his stories that the DOJ’s watchdog alleged contained details leaked by Paarmann.

(…) Horowitz’s team reviewed Paarmann’s communications from 2012 through 2017, which showed “extensive contacts” with members of the media, especially in 2016 and early 2017, laying out interactions with at least six reporters. These contacts included hundreds of texts, calls, and emails; over a dozen rounds of golf, including one where the reporter paid for both and another where Paarmann did; private drinks and dinners, including instances where investigators couldn’t determine who paid; a media member’s housewarming party where Paarmann brought wine as a gift; and a $225-ticket dinner, which was free of charge thanks to a member of the media, in violation of FBI rules.” (Read more: Washington Examiner, 1/10/2020)  (Archive)