Sessions Case an Ethics Quagmire the Justice Department's Accusations FBI Director Raise Questions about Behavioral Standards and Accusers' Motives

By Clara Germani, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, January 28, 1993 | Go to article overview

Sessions Case an Ethics Quagmire the Justice Department's Accusations FBI Director Raise Questions about Behavioral Standards and Accusers' Motives


Clara Germani, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


FROM the moment he took office, President Clinton has been forced to deal with politically treacherous, if legally minor, ethics battles surrounding the nation's leading law enforcement posts.

Even as Zoe Baird's nomination for attorney general was crashing over her employment of illegal immigrants, a Justice Department report accused Federal Bureau of Investigation Director William Sessions of repeated abuse of his position for petty financial gain. Baird left clean slate

After intense negative public reaction, Ms. Baird reluctantly walked away from the nomination last Friday leaving Mr. Clinton, who had picked the corporate attorney even though he knew of her transgression, a clean slate to try again.

But Mr. Sessions's case is more complicated and promises to drag out until a new attorney general can sort through the allegations for the new administration. (The FBI is a branch of the Justice Department, which is headed by the attorney general.)

After a six-month investigation by the Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility, Sessions was accused, among other things, of evading income taxes on the use of his chauffeur-driven limousine, using FBI vehicles to drive his wife to social functions and on personal errands, making personal trips to visit family with his wife on FBI planes, and improperly charging the government for a $10,000 fence around his home.

Sessions has rebutted all the charges. He says FBI counsel reviews all of the director's trips and determines whether they are personal or private. Similarly, he relied on the counsel's advice regarding his tax exemption for use of FBI vehicles.

There were only two instances in five years - not "routine" use - of FBI vehicles to transport his wife alone, he says. The fence, he claims, was built for security purposes and was recommended by bureau officials.

Aside from the primary issue of Sessions' guilt or innocence, the controversy raises several related concerns.

FBI morale and credibility could be damaged if the director is not either exonerated or ousted quickly, say those familiar with the bureau.

"Institutionally, the agency winces when its leadership is being buffeted around," says former FBI director William Webster. Ethics standards lax

Even if Sessions can prove the allegations false, the very fact that there were so many instances in which he offered the appearance of impropriety suggests that ethics standards are not being pushed strongly enough - or even taught - to new federal executives, says a congressional aide who has been involved in investigations of other federal officials accused of ethical lapses. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Sessions Case an Ethics Quagmire the Justice Department's Accusations FBI Director Raise Questions about Behavioral Standards and Accusers' Motives
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.