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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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June 14, 2022

     The FBI has a rulebook restricting its agents’ actions, but it does not want the American people to know what it says.

     The several-hundred-page Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG) used by agents is a hidden handbook intended to standardize policy for criminal, national security and foreign intelligence investigations.  After an internal audit first reported by The Washington Times showed agents’ rule-breaking at a rate sparking senator to ask for a federal investigation, The Times asked for a copy of the rulebook. The request was denied. The bureau instead pointed to an outdated version of the rulebook that is available online.

     “The DIOG is updated as needed to reflect changes in policy and the 2016 version currently posted on the FBI Vault is not the most recent version, but reflects the latest version that is publicly available,” the FBI said in a statement. “We are not able to share an updated version with you at this time.”  It unfortunately depends on which party is in the White house. 

     The rulebook has undergone multiple revisions since then. According to a 2019 FBI audit, a version of the rulebook was released in July 2018 and updated in June 2019.  The 2019 audit found a ratio of slightly more than two “compliance errors” per sensitive investigative matter reviewed, which are investigations involving people engaged in politics, government, the media or religious expression. Agents violated rules for those investigations at least 747 times in the 18 months ending June 30, 2019, according to the audit. 

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