Congressman Lynch Urges Attorney General Holder To Strengthen Guidelines on FBI Confidential Informants

Aug 23, 2013

Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08) wrote to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder recently urging him to increase accountability and transparency in the use of FBI confidential informants by strengthening The Attorney General's Guidelines Regarding the Use of FBI Confidential Human Sources. In particular, Congressman Lynch requested that the Attorney General revise the guidelines to require the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to report to Congress on the specific crimes committed by its confidential informants.
 
"The FBI routinely authorizes its confidential informants to engage in so-called ‘otherwise illegal activity’ without full disclosure to Congress as to the nature and extent of these crimes," said Congressman Lynch. "By revising the current guidelines governing the use of FBI confidential informants to require the FBI to report to Congress on the specific crimes committed by its human sources, the Attorney General would take a significant step towards ensuring greater accountability, transparency, and safety regarding the administration of Department of Justice confidential informant programs."  
 
Lynch, a senior member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has continually supported enhanced accountability and transparency in the use of government confidential informants. In the 113th Congress, he has introduced H.R. 265, the Confidential Informant Accountability Act of 2013, legislation that would require all federal law enforcement agencies to report to Congress all serious crimes committed by their confidential human sources. In addition, Lynch has consistently called for the Oversight Committee to conduct hearings regarding the use of confidential informants by the Department of Justice and specifically, the FBI. In the 112th Congress, Lynch, with the support of the Oversight Committee and Senator Charles E. Grassley, led a more than yearlong investigation to examine the relationship between the FBI Boston Division and an individual known as Mark Rossetti. Importantly, the investigation facilitated an internal review of the FBI’s Rossetti case files by an FBI Inspection team deployed to Boston in 2011 and confirmation of Rossetti’s previous status as a longtime FBI confidential informant.  

The full text of the letter from Congressman Lynch to Attorney General Holder can be found here.