Note: This was scheduled to post on Wednesday, it didn’t due to technical difficulties, and now the shutdown is over! But with yet another potential shutdown on the horizon, I’m posting this anyway. Enjoy!
“One overriding fact is clear when you listen to FBI Agents: Financial security is national security.”
Earlier this month, the FBI Agents Association released a presentation called Voices From the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of the Government Shutdown, giving firsthand accounts of the affects the shutdown is having not only on the individual agents, but also on ongoing federal investigations.
“The shutdown has eliminated any ability to operate.… It’s bad enough to work without pay, but we can only conduct administrative functions while doing it. The fear is our enemies know they can run freely.”
Over the last two years, media reports about the FBI have been so targeted towards their investigations into political activities, it is easy to forget that this is just small part of what the FBI addresses. Regardless of your political views, the FBI performs essential roles that we can all agree are necessary to maintain a safe and secure country, including:
Crimes Against Children and Sex Trafficking
Drug and Gang Crime
Healthcare and Securities Fraud
“Operationally, I requested a subpoena from the U.S. Attorney's Office yesterday and was told it may take a while because their legal assistants are furloughed. Depending on how long the shutdown lasts, it could be several weeks before my subpoena is issued.”
As long as the partial shutdown is ongoing, the FBI (like the U.S. Attorneys and Department of Justice) are limited in their ability to investigate both the criminal and civil frauds being perpetrated throughout the country. Bad guys are running rampant, knowing that they aren’t being watched as closely. The Government lacks the resources to monitor fraudulent activity, and so during this time, more than ever, private citizens, aka whistleblowers, are vital to maintaining national security. It is up to you, and to us as your qui tam counsel, to keep an eye on the bad guys and to bring False Claims Act cases to put a stop to fraud.