Field agents don't have the funding they need to investigate some of the worst crimes.
FBI agents say child sex traffickers, terrorists, and other criminal elements like the gang MS-13 are receiving a boost from Trump’s decision to shut down the federal government.
The FBI’s ability to investigate major crimes is being hampered by the government shutdown, which Trump insisted on because Congress refuses to waste billions on a useless border wall.
Because of the shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history, the FBI is facing a funding shortfall — and that is hampering the agency’s efforts to fight crime.
The FBI Agents Association previously warned that a shutdown would hurt law enforcement’s ability to fight crime. Now the organization has released a 71-page report that shows how this prediction is coming true.
One FBI source investigating crimes against children and sex trafficking said the shutdown “puts children in jeopardy” because the funding shortfall means “I have had to put pervs on standby.”
Another source told the group, “Victims from domestic minor sex trafficking cases are not receiving the attention they need and/or visits and counseling services.”
The Trump shutdown has cut off money that was being used to pay informants, who are key to giving investigators information about the activities of terrorists and spies. Agents can’t even buy the phone cards they need to speak to sources who have information on terrorism.
“We have lost several sources who have worked for months, and years, to penetrate groups and target subjects,” a terrorism task force coordinator explained in the report.
Similarly, money isn’t available to pay for travel used to investigate child sex traffickers.
Trump has often invoked the criminal MS-13 gang to push his fearmongering agenda on immigration restrictions. But by keeping the government shut down, Trump is effectively aiding and abetting gangs like MS-13.
One FBI operative working on MS-13 cases noted that Spanish speakers haven’t been available to help with those cases since the shutdown. “We have several Spanish speaking informants,” the operative said. “We are only able to communicate using a three-way call with a linguist in another division.”
“I currently investigate a particularly violent street gang,” an FBI source said in the report. “I have had to tell our local law enforcement partners that I cannot assist in funding these operations because my field office does not have money.”
Another FBI source said the shutdown is hurting investigations into “trafficking of methamphetamine and heroin by street gang members.” Without federal dollars, the source said, “our task force is unable to continue these critical investigations.”
The shutdown is also hurting FBI investigations into cybersecurity, as well as the FBI’s ability to provide critical assistance to local police investigating serious crimes like homicide.
Criminals and terrorists are more likely to get away with hurting innocent people thanks to the Trump shutdown, and the Republicans who are allowing it to continue. The shutdown is a huge gift to the darkest side of humanity.
Published with permission of The American Independent.