In a letter to lawmakers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation claims that the across the board cuts in the sequester will damage their ability to pursue financial crimes.
Sequestration will cause current financial crimes investigations to slow as workload is spread among a reduced workforce. In some instances, such delays could affect the timely interviews of witnesses and collection of evidence. The capacity to undertake new major investigations will be constrained. Left unchecked, fraud and malfeasance in the financial, securities, and related industries could hurt the integrity of U.S. markets.
In addition, the public will perceive the FBI as less capable of aggressively and actively investigating financial fraud and public corruption, which would undercut the deterrence that comes from strong enforcement.
Are you done laughing yet? I know I’m not.
The public already rightly sees the FBI as complete screw-ups regarding the bureau’s handling of financial crime due to the fact that not one major Wall Street criminal that caused the 2008 financial crisis has gone to jail. Not one. A public perception not at all altered by a recent Frontline expose on the incredible failures of the FBI and Justice Department in taking on blatant crime on Wall Street.
The FBI instead spent its time and resources in the wake of the financial crisis investigating Aaron Swartz as well as treating Occupy Wall Street protesters as “terrorists.” With some truly asine agent provocateur activity that even judges considered pretty stupid. The FBI is rightly losing much of its social cache and has damaged its reputation from the incompetence and corruption it demonstrates when the bureau targets innocent people while letting the clearly guilty walk. So the FBI is rapidly losing credibility with the public due to its obvious disinterest in holding Wall Street accountable not for lacking the resources to do so.
There are many good reasons to oppose the sequester, the claim that it will prevent the FBI from doing a job it isn’t doing anyway is not one of them.